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Hitachi train unveiling: 'Designed in Japan, built in Britain'

The first UK-built Intercity Express train coming out the factory in County Durham. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The first UK-built Intercity Express (IEP) train has been unveiled at the Hitachi factory in County Durham.

It is one of 122 express trains which are part of the Government-funded £5.7 billion Intercity Express Programme.

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Hitachi: New trains will 'boost capacity and reliability' on Great Western and East Coast

Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, speaking at the unveiling of the new train today. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The first UK-built Intercity Express (IEP) train has been unveiled at Hitachi in County Durham.

It is one of 122 express trains which are part of the Government-funded £5.7 billion Intercity Express Programme designed to boost capacity, reliability and comfort for passengers.

Speaking at the unveiling, Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, said:

Hitachi is building 122 new intercity trains, and these more modern trains will offer more capacity for passengers, more reliable journeys, and 21st century technology.

These trains will run on the Great Western mainline from 2017 and the East Coast mainline from 2018.

From Inverness to Swansea, Aberdeen to Oxford, connecting the communities the length and breadth of Britain.

– Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe

All the trains are set to be in service by 2020.

The first Class 800 train was built at Hitachi's Kasado works in Japan, but the majority of the 866-carriage fleet will be manufactured in the UK.

A total of 110 IEP trains will be built in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

They are capable of running at 140mph, although will be limited to 125mph unless rail tracks are upgraded.

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Leave campaigners dispute PM's claim that Brexit would harm North East jobs

Leave campaigners have disputed the claim that Britain leaving the EU would damage the security of north east jobs.

The Prime Minister is at Hitachi's Newton Aycliffe train factory for a speech about the debate.

Vote leave supporters have said that the notion investment into the North East would be jeopardised by a vote to leave is 'ludicrous'.

John Elliott, chairman of local employer Ebac and Vote Leave supporter, said:

Vote Leave: North East investment would not be jeopardised by Brexit

In response to David Cameron's visit to Hitachi Rail's Newton Aycliffe, vote leave supporters have said that the notion investment into the North East would be jeopardised by a vote to leave is 'ludicrous'.

John Elliott, chairman of local employer Ebac and Vote Leave supporter, said:

Hitachi came to the North East in order to supply the UK market with trains. That is not going to change if we leave the EU.

Hitachi's biggest client in the UK is the government, so it's no surprise they're dancing to their tune.

We've heard this all before. Large multinationals such as Nissan said they would leave if we didn't join the Euro, but they didn't.

Hitachi themselves have said all we need is a free trade deal with the EU, which we will have when we Vote Leave on 23 June.”

– John Elliott, chairman of local employer Ebac and Vote Leave supporter

PM arrives at Hitachi plant for EU speech

The Prime Minister has arrived at Hitachi's Newton Aycliffe train factory ahead of a speech he'll be giving on why Britons should vote to stay in the EU. He will be focussing on how jobs and the economy would be affected by a 'Brexit'.

Hitachi chairman Hiroaki Nakanishi recently said that although the firm was a serious long-term investor in the UK, a Brexit would force them to rethink their strategy in Europe.

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