TRAIN builder Hitachi Rail Europe has revealed its preferred bidder for a deal to fit flooring on its Intercity Express Programme (IEP) rolling stock.

Treadmaster Flooring, a brand of Tiflex, based in Cornwall, hopes to lay rubber sections of flooring underneath carpets on Hitachi's new East Coast and Great Western Main Line Class 800 series trains, which will operate from 2017.

Jamie Foster, Hitachi's procurement director, said: “Safety is absolutely central to everything we do and any products, parts or companies we use to provide safety elements need to demonstrate that they can meet the highest possible standards.

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“Tiflex have a lot of experience in this area including in supplying the flooring for a number of London Underground projects.”

Barry Curtis, Tiflex sales manager, added: “This is an extremely prestigious project, and we hope to work closely with Hitachi to deliver flooring products to the highest quality standards.”

After securing the IEP contract, Hitachi has been approached by about 900 companies, mainly from the UK, which want to be involved in supplying its £82m plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

The Japanese company will start work at its North-East factory in 2016, employing 730 workers.