A NORTH-EAST train builder has missed out on "decade's worth of manufacturing" after it lost out on a £1.5bn contract to build a new generation of underground trains, an MP has claimed.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson has sent a letter to Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to find out why Hitachi missed out on a contact to design and manufacture 94 Deep Tube trains to serve the London Underground's Piccadilly line.

Mr Wilson questioned why the contract was given to a company “without a factory in the country" and whether the decision, which was announced last month by Transport For London, was in the "best interests" of the UK.

Newton Aycliffe-based Hitachi lost out on its joint bid with Bombardier to German firm Siemens Mobility, which will now have to build a new factory in East Yorkshire in order to build the trains.

In his letter, Mr Wilson said: "Hitachi have demonstrated a clear commitment to the North East, and the UK as whole, by returning train manufacturing to the North East of England, the birthplace of the railways.

"They have also established their global rail headquarters in London as well as building depots in West London, Ashford, Bristol and Doncaster. This represents a huge investment, supporting jobs up and down the country.

"I believe the Hitachi and Bombardier joint submission was a strong and competitive bid and would have secured a decade’s worth of manufacturing at Hitachi’s train-building factory in my constituency.

"I am therefore dismayed why a contract of this size would be awarded to a company without a factory in this country when there are two train builders, with state-of-the-art facilities which collectively employ 5,000 workers in the UK and are ready for business.

"As a Mayor concerned about British jobs, I urge you to consider if the award of this contract is in the best interests of our country. "

When the decision was announced, Transport for London said the Siemens Mobility factory would employ up to 700 people plus up to an additional 250 people during the construction phase of the factory.

From 2023, the new state-of-the-art Inspiro trains will be delivered on the Piccadilly line enabling up to 27 trains-per-hour to operate at peak times by the end of 2026.