Hitachi has opened a European rail research centre (ERCC) to support the expansion of its rail systems business in the UK.
Located within Hitachi Rail Europe’s office in central London, the new centre will focus on external and internal rolling stock design, manufacturing processes, vehicle maintenance and traffic management systems.
The new ERCC will be part of Hitachi Europe’s Transportation Energy & Environment Research Laboratory, European Research Division.
According to Hitachi, railway systems represent one of the company’s major business activities in the European market and the new centre will support current and future rail contracts, including the construction and maintenance of rail cars for the UK’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP).
The new centre will also support the development of a prototype traffic management system for Network Rail.
Hitachi Europe managing director Kiyoshi Yamamoto said that the new centre is expected to support the company’s railway business in Europe, as well as develop the region’s railway infrastructure.
“The research centre will provide safe and high-quality solutions by applying Hitachi’s leading technologies,” Yamamoto said. “In the future, we’d like to expand the research centre with a local office to directly support
Hitachi Rail Europe’s planned manufacturing and assembly plant in the UK.”
In April 2011, Hitachi Europe expanded its European R&D activities with the opening of the Transportation Energy & Environment Research Laboratory to cover its railway, coal-fired thermal power, power electronics and automotive businesses.