Leading UK rail manufacturer Hitachi Rail Europe has reached the major milestone of employing 1,000 people across the UK. The achievement coincides with the one year anniversary since Newton Aycliffe HRE’s manufacturing facility was opened by the then Prime Minister David Cameron. This marked the return of train building to its UK birthplace in the north east of England. Hitachi’s 1,000th employee, Emma Dixon, recently joined Newton Aycliffe’s manufacturing team where she is helping to build new trains for the Department of Transport’s Intercity Express Programme (IEP), commuter trains for Abellio ScotRail (ASR) and, later, a new Inter City fleet for Transpennine Express. Emma, from Spennymoor, has most recently been working in retail, but has prior manufacturing experience in electricals. Her arrival at Newton Aycliffe comes ahead of a wave of further recruitment by Hitachi, which will take total staff at its manufacturing facility to over 900. The 150 new skilled roles, including 50 apprentices, will provide the capacity to fulfil new orders the company has won since the facility opened in September 2015. Karen Boswell, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “The appointment of our 1,000th employee underlines the big plans Hitachi Rail Europe has to match the very largest players by winning new work in a competitive rail market. “We’ve created a fantastic foothold in the market working with the UK rail industry’s largest rolling stock customers and operators, and together are delivering some of the most important contracts in rail history. Over the next three years, with state-of-the-art manufacturing and service delivery facilities up and down the country, we’ll meet the demands for faster trains and extra capacity and help the industry to deliver the biggest rail modernisation in over 100 years. “To achieve our plan HRE is continuing to build a talented team of people, like Emma, drawn from a diverse range of careers and backgrounds who are working together to create an exciting and sustainable future. Our 1,000th UK employee is a significant milestone, and we have clear goals and a strategy to grow our business and double our workforce by the end of 2019.” Emma Dixon, the 1,000th Hitachi Rail Europe employee, said: “I’m really excited to be joining Hitachi, and it’s a great opportunity for me. I’m thrilled to be the 1,000th employee and so far all of my new colleagues have been very supportive and friendly, so I’m looking forward to a happy and rewarding career with Hitachi.”