North East Passengers to benefit from largest investment in trains for a generation

And new jobs could be on the way with the possible return of train-making to Gateshead.

Train passengers in the North East will benefit from the single biggest investment in Intercity trains for a generation, the Labour Government announced today.

The government has announced that Agility Trains has been selected as the preferred bidder for the £7.5bn contract to build and maintain a fleet of new Super Express trains for the East Coast Mainline.

Agility Trains have also announced that they are to invest in a new manufacturing plant which could mean the return of train-making to Gateshead. The town is on a shortlist of three locations for a possible new train manufacturing facility together with Ashby de la Zouch and Sheffield.  

Geoff Hoon, Labour's Transport Minister, said:

"This announcement demonstrates that this Labour Government is prepared to invest, even in difficult economic times, by improving our national infrastructure.

"It is good news for the British Economy that over 12,500 jobs will be created and safeguarded.

"It is also good news for passengers across the North East that we are taking the steps necessary to improve their rail journeys, this will provide a faster service between London and Newcastle, Durham and Darlington.”

"Labour are committed to investing in Britain's future."

David Clelland, Labour MP for Tyne Bridge said;

“This is a huge opportunity for the North East and for Gateshead in particular. The region has shown with past inward investments like Nissan that we can make it a real success. I have already spoken with the Leader of Gateshead Council about what we can do to secure this investment. Local Councils, One North East and the North East Business community need to work together to make the case for Gateshead. I will do as much as I can to win these jobs for the region."