The five-car bi-mode class 800 train is due to arrive at the port of Kobe on January 22 and will be transferred to a larger vessel for the remainder of its sea voyage to Southampton in southern England, where it will be unloaded in March.

Trials are due to begin on the Old Dalby test track near Nottingham in April and the test programme will be managed by Hitachi Rail Europe.

Three pre-series SETs and the first 10 production trains will be built in Japan before assembly switches to Hitachi's purpose-built £82m Newton Aycliffe plant in northeast England, which will assemble the remaining 109 trains.

The first trains will enter service on the Great Western Main Line from London to Bristol, Cardiff and Swansea in December 2017, and on the East Coast Main Line from London to northeast England and Scotland from 2018. The entire fleet is due to enter service by 2020.