Government rail minister Claire Perry was in Warwick last week to visit the headquarters of a company which has just completed the interior design for a new fleet of inter-city trains.
The minister took along a group of engineering students when she was invited to the Church Street offices of DCA Design International, where she sat in a full-sized mock-up of one of the new Hitachi trains due to operate along the Great Western and East Coast mainlines.
Regardless of High Speed Rail (HS2), the new “bi-mode” Hitachi electric and diesel trains should be in operation by 2016 as part of a £5.7 billion Government investment in the Intercity Express Programme.
DCA has its headquarters, plus two other offices in Warwick, where it employs some 120 staff who have worked on a range of prestigious contracts for London Underground and the car transporters on the line through the Channel Tunnel.
Ms Perry was shown round by DCA’s transport project manager Paul Rutter and said she was very impressed with the new-look interiors which offer more personal space, wi-fi and iphone power connections, more comfortable seats and vastly improved toilets.
The new fleet of trains will replace the existing diesel locomotives operating on the London to Bristol and Cardiff lines and offer 19 per cent more seats. Passengers travelling between London and Edinburgh on the East Coast line could also see journey times cut by 15 minutes.