UK-based Shepherd Building Group has won a contract to build a 43,000m² train manufacturing plant for Hitachi Rail Europe in the north-east of England.
Work on the plant, which represents an £82m investment in manufacturing, will commence later this year and is expected to run until mid-2015.
Initially, the plant will build a fleet of 122 Class 800 series trains for the East Coast Main Line and the Great Western Main Line, as part of the Intercity Express Programme.
Hitachi Rail Europe and project lead Merchant Place Developments (MPD) have jointly selected Shepherd’s Darlington office to build the plant.
Hitachi Rail Europe CEO and executive chairman Alistair Dormer said: "This investment will secure employment for more than 150 workers during the build phase and many more from the supply chain. The majority of recruits will be from County Durham and the north-east.
"In our own office here in Newton Aycliffe, we have already employed seven local people and recruitment will continue to grow right through to when the factory goes live."
UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "Hitachi’s decision to base its European factory in Newton Aycliffe shows the UK is an attractive place for international businesses to invest and grow.
"The factory will be a great boost to the north-east economy, creating over 700 jobs and bringing a long tradition of rail manufacturing back to the region."