Hitachi unveils first UK built trains at Co Durham factory

Workers on the production line at Hitachi. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Hitachi has unveiled the first trains to be built at its plant in Newton Aycliffe, completely from scratch.

Earlier trains were partly assembled in Japan. But bosses there say they're delighted that the re-birth of the railways continues, not far from the place where it all began.

This unveiling is about the future of the industry, but it's also about history.

These four trains are the first in the next generation to be built, entirely, in the North East, a fact the company is very proud of.

Work on the trains began, at the start of last year, and will finish at the end of 2018.

While all of them will be in service in Scotland, they're built from scratch, in the North East.

It takes 60 days to make just one of them. And Hitachi are contracted to deliver 70.

That's part of an agreement with ScotRail worth £400 million pounds.

The factory has more than a thousand workers, many of them from the local area.

The factory is just miles from where the first passenger railway was built.

And, for more than a century, County Durham was the centre of the locomotive world.

With 20 more trains currently being built, the future for the industry seems bright - once again the North East is making one of its oldest - and finest - exports.