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New train factory approved in County Durham

New train factory approved in County Durham
The government's investment into the UK's rail network is continuing as the Department for Transport (DfT) has unveiled a £4.5 billion plan to create more trains for the nation's infrastructure.

Justine Greening, transport secretary, announced that the funding had been approved by the government and that it would be spearheaded by a new purpose-built factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The facility will be operated by Agility Trains, a consortium comprising of Hitachi and John Laing, and will assemble the next generation of intercity trains creating 730 skilled jobs as well as 200 more positions for the construction of the factory itself. Officials noted that it will also create thousands more jobs throughout the UK's supply chain when construction begins in 2013.

On top of this the company will also create maintenance depots in Bristol, west London, Swansea and Doncaster, allowing the UK to improve its rail services.

The Intercity Express Programme is designed to replace 125 existing trains on the UK's rail network with new higher capacity carriages to meet public demand. Hitachi's Newton Aycliffe facility will construct 92 complete trains and will also use research and development capabilities from the UK site which will allow it compete with companies across Europe for infrastructure contracts.

Ms 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. It means 730 new skilled jobs created at the factory, 200 jobs in constructing the plant and thousands of jobs secured in the supply chain."

The move is in line with the government's continued investment into the rail network as it unveiled plans last week (July 16th) for its intention to create a £9.4 billion fund to improve services across the country. These plans include completing the electrification for the Sheffield to Bedford line which will finish the upgrade project on the route at a cost of £800 million. Prime minister David Cameron hailed the scheme stating that it was the "biggest modernisation of our railways since the Victorian era".

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Date: 25/07/2012 16:09:00

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