TESTS are continuing on an inter city express train, which will be made in the North-East and deliver high-speed services to the East Coast Main Line.

Hitachi Rail Europe says its Class 800 model is being scrutinised at a Network Rail site in Leicestershire.

The train, which arrived in the UK in March, has been designed and built by Hitachi for the Government's InterCity Express Programme (IEP).

The locomotive is an example of what Hitachi’s £82m 730-job factory in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, will make.

The plant will produce 110 IEP trains, which will operate on the Great Western Main Line from 2017 and the East Coast a year later.

A spokeswoman said: “The test schedule is important in bringing the IEP trains into service.

“It includes some night runs on a designated section of the East Coast Main Line, and testing will be undertaken in various train formations applicable to the IEP fleet.”

Last week, Hitachi confirmed a second Class 800 model had arrived in the UK and is now also at the Network Rail site.

As well as the IEP work, Hitachi will make Scottish rolling stock, supplying 70 engines and 234 carriages to operator Abellio.

The 100mph next generation commuter trains, made up of 46 three-car and 24 four-car trains, will run from late 2017 on electrified lines between Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as routes covering Stirling, Alloa and Dunblane.

An initial seven engines will be made at Hitachi’s factory in Kasado, Japan, with the remaining 63 built at Aycliffe.