David Cameron and Naoto Kan, Japan’s prime minister, have had discussions regarding the IEP project, with the Japanese prime minister urging Mr Cameron to help save the £7.5 bn contract that will see a train building plant constructed in the UK.
The meeting was called amid fears that the IEP could be scrapped as part of the budget cuts, which are expected to be announced next month. If the IEP goes ahead, it will see the East Coast and Great Western main lines transformed with new rolling stock.
It is believed that an alternative option of refurbishing the present HST fleet is being considered by the DfT.
A north east delegation of business, union and political leaders will meet transport secretary Philip Hammond tomorrow. They are hoping to persuade him to not scrap the project, as Hitachi has indicated that the factory for building the new trains will be located in the region.