A much-delayed deal for new intercity express trains has finally been announced by the Government, with the £4.5 billion contract helping to create 900 new jobs.
Under the deal, Agility Trains, a consortium led by Hitachi of Japan, will build 596 rail carriages at a new factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham. The first trains will enter service on the Greater Western Main Line in 2017 and on the East Coast Main Line by 2018.
Agility was announced as preferred bidder for the Intercity Express Programme in early 2009, but after a series of delays it has taken more than three years for the deal to be finalised. The project, to replace the Intercity 125 trains, will not only create new jobs but safeguard thousands more.
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."