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15 November 2007
Hitachi’s New "High Speed Bullet Train" for the UK took centre stage on Tuesday 6th November 2007 as Her Majesty the Queen officially opened the new St. Pancras International Rail Terminal. Accompanied by a musical and lighting spectacular, the first Hitachi Class 395 drew into the platform flanked by two Eurostar trains which will also use the St. Pancras terminal.
The Class 395 in the famous Barlow train shed at St. Pancras
The refurbishment of one of London’s grandest stations will be the new home of the Hitachi Class 395 delivering a high speed train service for passengers between the heart of London and Kent, fondly known as the Garden of England. Eurostar will begin serving international passengers this year, but later in 2009 Hitachi’s Bullets will greatly improve the commuting and leisure experience of domestic rail users in the Southeast.
Kazuo Furukawa, President and CEO of Hitachi Ltd. attended the grand opening reflecting afterwards what an honour it had been for Hitachi to play such an important role in the ceremony. Watching his CTRL 'Hitachi bullet train’ arriving in front of The Queen was a poignant reminder that Hitachi’s long term dream of supplying rolling stock to the UK has come true, with the President paying tribute to those who have worked so hard over the last ten years to make the dream a reality.
As well as the impressive opening of St. Pancras, Mr. Furukawa attended two other key events for Hitachi Europe’s Rail Group. In the morning, he paid a visit to Hitachi’s new, state-of-the-art Rail Maintenance Centre in Ashford. Mr. Furukawa planted a traditional Japanese "Sakura" tree outside the reception, and named the Rail Maintenance Centre’s Shunting Locomotive, "Fuji".
Later in the afternoon before the St Pancras ceremony Mr. Furukawa proudly opened the Hitachi Europe Rail Group’s new office near Euston in London, as Hitachi look to continue to build on their current successes and deliver further ground breaking rail technology to the UK and European rail sectors. Hitachi have been making the headlines with their new Hybrid traction technology, now in the test run in the UK, targeting reductions in energy consumption and reduced emissions, benefiting the environment