Newton Aycliffe factory awarded £350m train contract

Artist's impression of the new trains Image copyright Hitachi
Image caption The new trains are expected to enter service in 2022

A factory has been awarded a £350m contract to build Japanese bullet-style trains.

Hitachi in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, will assemble 23 of the 125mph intercity trains for Avanti West Coast, which takes over the running of the line from Virgin Trains on Sunday.

Some will be electric and some bi-mode - switching from electric to diesel where the line is not electrified.

It is anticipated they will enter service in 2022.

The electric trains will run between London, the West Midlands and Liverpool, while the bi-modes will serve the London to North Wales route.

Andrew Barr, group chief executive of Hitachi's rail division, said: "Based on Japanese bullet train technology, our new trains have proven to be the modern intercity train of choice, increasing passenger satisfaction wherever they run.

"This new order, which will be built at our factory in the North East, is another vote of confidence in the success of our trains, which are both green and reliable."

Avanti West Coast is owned by First Trenitalia - a partnership between Aberdeen-based FirstGroup and Italian firm Trenitalia.

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