Hitachi Rail Europe has begun manufacturing London North Eastern Railway's (LNER) Azuma trains at its Newton Aycliffe base.
Bosses say the 65-strong Azuma fleet will provide LNER with thousands of extra seats and increase capacity into London King’s Cross by nearly 30 per cent at peak times.
Azuma is due to begin carrying passengers later this year along the East Coast main line, connecting London and Yorkshire, and from 2019 running in Scotland.
Karen Boswell, managing director of Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Newton Aycliffe continues to go from strength to strength, now building three separate fleets to serve passengers across the country.
“Our pioneering Azuma trains, inspired by Japanese bullet trains, will transform journeys on the East Coast main line. By building them at Newton Aycliffe, we are supporting thousands of jobs with a strong British supplier base.”