The region has received a £1.2 billion boost with the announcement of a new government contract to build trains.
270 carriages are to be manufactured by Hitachi Rail Europe at its new site in Newton Aycliffe.
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Figures released today by the RNLI show the most common reason for rescue in 2014 was machine failure.
Colder, windier and wetter weather is on the way.
The family of a Durham student who died after a night out said they will be 'eternally grateful' to the civilian diver who found his body.