North East Branch

Hitachi - EU Plant, Heighington, Newton Aycliffe, Co. Durham

   Map showing the location of the Hitachi Factory   Roger Darsley
This factory started producing IEP class 800 trains and assembling ScotRail class 385 trains in 2016. The main entrance to the works is off Millennium Way. Only official party visits are allowed around the works and even then no photography is allowed inside. People are allowed to use the photographs published on the company website with the usual acknowledgements. There are two places that are on a public right of way where exterior photographs can be taken.

The Millennium Way bridge over the Darlington to Bishop Auckland railway allows views of the test track. All trains are tested up to 15km/hr on this track before released from the factory. Unfortunately times that the test track is used is only known to the testing personnel [not even to the gatehouse.]

There is also a public footpath along the north side of the factory. This crosses the Bishop Auckland line with proper crossing ladders though one set are a bit in disrepair. This footpath currently gives good views of the north sidings and the NE and NW corners of the factory. This area has been extensively planted out and as the trees and bushes grow so the vantage points will become restricted. Do not attempt to join the footpath from the end of Heighington station platform as there are drainage culverts. Follow the road around to the proper footpath entrance. There is adequate car parking in the area.

Heighington station is where 'Locomotion' was first put on the Stockton and Darlington Railway track [Hence the name of the pub.] Hitachi are aware of this heritage and are sponsoring the station.

last updated: 05/08/17