1. ITV Report

Hitachi bids for £2.75bn HS2 contract to build trains in North East

Hitachi Rail Europe will bid for the contract to build the HS2 trains. Credit: Hitachi Rail Europe

Hitachi Rail Europe will bid for the contract to build the HS2 trains in the North East, which could mean hundreds of jobs.

The rail manufacturer is head-quartered in London and builds trains at its plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Up to 60 trains will be needed to transport passengers at around 225 mph.

The contract, which is worth £2.75 billion, will be awarded in 2019.

Advance warning about the start of the bidding process was published on Friday by HS2 Ltd, the organisation responsible for developing the £55.7 billion project.

And Hitachi Rail Europe sales director, Nick Hughes, said the North East had the know-how to build the trains.

Our HS2 trains would be built in Britain, for Britain, and combine world-leading Japanese Shinkansen technology with British manufacturing know-how.

By building at Hitachi's facility in the North East, our high speed trains would bring together values of pioneering engineering, industry-leading reliability and innovative design.

The trains will offer next generation passenger experience, utilising the latest smart and digital technologies.

– Hitachi Rail Europe sales director, Nick Hughes

In a tweet Labour MP for Sedgefield Phil Wilson called the bid "great news" and said it could mean 100s of jobs and investment in the North East.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling Credit: PA

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling described the search for a train manufacturer as "a major step" towards Britain getting a new railway which will carry more than 300,000 people each day.

Mr Grayling said building and maintaining the trains will be a "great opportunity for British-based businesses and suppliers" with the creation of hundreds of jobs.

Construction work on phase one of HS2 from London to Birmingham will start in the spring, subject to its parliamentary bill getting royal assent in the coming weeks.