Hitachi is to build its first European train factory following an agreement with Merchant Place Developments for the construction of a rolling stock manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
According to Hitachi Rail Europe, the contract represents an investment of £82m to create an advanced manufacturing hub in the North East of England.
In addition, the company will receive a £4m grant from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to support factory construction.
The facility will initially be used to build Super Express Trains for the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line, with the potential to be used for other orders, such as building Crossrail rolling stock, should Hitachi Rail Europe be named as the successful bidder.
Hitachi expects to create 730 long-term positions with around 200 positions created during the factory’s construction phase.
Construction of the plant is expected to start at the end of 2013, with the factory scheduled to go into production in 2016. The Super Express Trains will go into full passenger service in 2017.