A NEW generation of 125mph express trains which will operate on the east coast main line between Aberdeen, Inverness and London within six years were finally approved by ministers today.
The trains can operate using both electric and diesel power, enabling them to run on electricity as far north as Edinburgh, then switch to diesel.
The current 40-year-old fleet of trains which they will replace use diesel power all the way, which has poorer acceleration, causes more pollution and costs more.
UK Transport Secretary Justine Greening said electric trains which run between Edinburgh, Glasgow and London on the east coast main line could also be replaced by the new Hitachi trains, which will be built in County Durham.
The £4.5 billion Intercity Express Programme contract, which will help create 900 jobs, has been hit by a series of delays since the Hitachi-led Agility consortium was named preferred bidder three years ago.
The trains will also run on the Great Western main line between London and Swansea from 2017.