High speed trains to be built and run in the North East

The region's new generation of high speed trains was unveiled for the first time today (November 13) 6,000 miles away in Japan.

They are based on bullet train technology and the very first has just come off the production line for the East Coast Trains.

Built by Hitachi, the hope is the trains will transform the East coast services. Here is Kentaro Masai from Hitachi:

All the trains' body shells will be built in Japan, but the 900 carriages will be assembled at a new plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

This will create more than 700 new jobs.

The trains will travel considerably more slowly over here than in Japan where they do 200 mph.

Our old infrastructure means the fastest they will go is 125 mph. Even so journey times will be cut by between 2 and 23 minutes.

The new rolling stock will replace the existing 40 year old trains. Here is Jon Colley from East Coast Trains:

There will be more seats and extra carriage which should help to ease overcrowding.

Interior of the new high speed trains. Credit: ITV News

Unions are worried there will be fewer staff on board the new trains.

They believe the guard will be removed and the buffet car will go.

If that is the case the unions say they will fight the changes, possibly with industrial action.

While the first trains have rolled off the production line in Japan, passengers here will have to wait nearly three years to use them.