Hitachi to take on 150 new workers

Hitachi, County Durham Credit: ITV

Hitachi is set to take on 150 new workers at its plant in Newton Aycliffe, in County Durham.

The train-builder plans to add staff to ensure they are producing enough rolling stock.

Hitachi Rail Europe will add to the original target of 730 people. It means the business has a workforce of nearly 900 at its £82m site.

Officials, who already have more than 500 workers on their books, say theyexpect to meet their initial 730 mark by the end of the year.

The business is just days away from assembling rolling stock destined forScottish lines.

The company has a contract to supply hundreds of carriages for the ScotRail franchise and work is expected to start once the factory’s summer shutdown ends later this month.

The 100mph commuter trains will be made up of three-car and four-cartrains, known as Class 385s, and are expected to run from late 2017 on electrified lines between Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as routes covering Stirling, Alloa and Dunblane.

An example of the ScotRail 385 is now being shipped to the region fromJapan, to help with the fleet’s development in the UK.

A spokeswoman said work on the Scottish fleet will be carried out alongside existing deals to make stock for the East Coast and Great Western routesunder the Government’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP). She added that the company is hoping to attract more female apprentices.