Production has started on the new fleet of trains that are set to come into service on the London to Penzance route next year.

Work began today (Feb 15) at Hitachi Rail’s factory near Florence in Italy.

The new fleet harnesses “pioneering” Japanese bullet train technology known for its quality and reliability. Passengers can expect more seats, better on-board facilities with the possibility of shorter journey times.

Passengers will also benefit from new on-board technology, including real-time journey updates and seat reservation screens.

Great Western Railways MD, Mark Hopwood, said: “Today marks another significant step towards delivering new trains, more seats, more frequent services and quicker journeys; and a step change in passenger experience on the Great Western.

“The first UK built Intercity Express Train rolled off the UK production plant last December for introduction in passenger service later this year, and it is great to see work on the fleet for Devon and Cornwall progress.”