£1.2 billion contract for Hitachi Rail Europe

A £1.2 billion contract for new 140mph trains to be produced in County Durham has been announced by the Government

A Hitachi train at a station
A Hitachi train at a station

A £1.2 billion contract for new 140mph trains, to be produced in County Durham, that will reduce journey times on key intercity routes has been announced by the Government.

A total of 270 carriages will be manufactured in Britain by Hitachi Rail Europe at its new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe as part of the Government’s overall £5.8 billion Intercity Express Programme (IEP).

The latest order for the trains, called the class 800 series, will be operational on the East Coast Main Line from 2019 and will deliver significant benefits to passengers.

These include boosting capacity by 18%, improving train reliability, and cutting journey times between London, Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh by up to 18 minutes.

The order is a boost for Hitachi’s north east England manufacturing facility and its 730 planned jobs. It will further enhance the factory’s ability to win lucrative rail contracts across Europe and give the UK another runner in the global race to build the world’s best trains.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: "By signing this deal we have provided further proof of our determination to transform Britain’s railways into a world-class operation through continued investment and state-of-the-art technology."

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