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25 July 2012, 07:51
The Government's confirmed a £4.5 billion contract to build Hitachi trains in Newton Aycliffe.
Under the deal, Agility Trains, a consortium led by Hitachi of Japan, will build 596 rail carriages at a new factory in Newton Aycliffe.
The first trains will enter service on the Greater Western Main Line in 2017 and on the East Coast Main Line by 2018.
The project, to replace the Intercity 125 trains, will not only create new jobs but safeguard thousands more.
A total of 730 skilled jobs will be created at Newton Aycliffe with a further 200 created during construction of the factory itself, where Hitachi will assemble a fleet of 92 complete trains.
Transport Secretary Justine Greening said:
"A new train factory is fantastic news for Britain and will be welcomed by everyone who wants to see a thriving UK manufacturing sector.
The decision to build almost 600 new intercity train carriages is great for rail passengers who will experience faster and more comfortable journeys when travelling across Britain on the East Coast and Great Western main lines.
Hitachi is the latest major international company to invest on this scale in Britain and I look forward to this new factory in County Durham following in the footsteps of Nissan's successful car plant in Sunderland.
There can also be fewer stronger signs that the UK is the best place in which to invest, and from which to develop new markets, than Hitachi's decision to base its European manufacturing base right here in Britain.''
Passengers travelling on the East Coast line will also see improvements to their travelling experience, as journeys between London and Newcastle will potentially be reduced by 13 minutes with the forthcoming East Coast franchise.
Construction at the Newton Aycliffe site is expected to begin in 2013 and it will be fully operational by 2015