The next generation of high speed trains could be built in the North East. The Japanese manufacturer, Hitachi, who are opening a new factory in County Durham, say they're seriously interested in bidding for the contract.
Local Labour MPs are calling on the government to award contracts to the region, after yesterday's announcement that the new high speed line will stop short of the North East.
The next generation of high speed trains could be built in the North East after Hitachi confirmed it was interested in bidding for the contract.
The government has announced plans to build high speed lines from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds. Trains will continue at a slower speed further north.
Hitachi is building a new factory in Newton Aycliffe to make trains, creating more than 700 jobs.
A spokesman today said the Japanese firm's interest in the high speed contract was "extremely strong." She said high speed rail was an "interesting project" that the new factory would be "well placed" to be part of.
We're being promised that we will benefit from plans for a new high speed rail line - even though it will stop short of the North East.
Journey times to London will be cut by more than half an hour, and business leaders say the line will help attract investment and jobs to the region, despite it only coming as far north as Leeds.
Watch the full report from our Business Correspondent Ben Chapman below.
Business leaders have welcomed government plans to create a high speed rail network between London and north of England - even though it stops short of the North East region.
The high speed sections will finish at Manchester and Leeds, although the trains will continue north at a slower speed.
Journeys from Newcastle to London would be cut to two hours and twenty minutes.
Business groups, like James Ramsbotham of the North East Chamber of Commerce,
say that the links are vital for the future of our economy.
The head of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has welcomed the announcement of the second phase of the HS2 rail network linking Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham:
– John Cridland, CBI Director-General
We cannot sit on our hands when the West Coast Main Line is set to reach full capacity by the 2020s and freight will be squeezed.
Extending HS2 to the North is the project’s big prize. It will boost the economic potential of some of our biggest cities, driving growth and creating jobs across the country. This is the same bold, long-term thinking that helped the Victorians build our original network.
Business groups have welcomed plans to build a high-speed rail line between London, Leeds and Manchester - even though it stops short of the North East.
The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and the North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) said the line was "essential" to the region's future.
The high-speed line will end at Leeds, but high-speed trains will continue north to Newcastle. Journey times to the capital would reduce from nearly three hours, to two hours and 18 minutes.
A journey to Birmingham would take two hours and seven minutes, down from more than three hours.
The line would be open by 2033.
The CBI and NECC have today published their Transport Priorities for the North East. It calls for help in securing a trans-Atlantic air route and upgrades to the A1 and A19, in addition to high-speed rail.