Plans to build one of Britain's biggest wind farms near Northumberland's Kielder Forest suffered a setback when a High Court judge refused to quash a government decision blocking the project.
Construction output grew last month at its fastest pace since July, according to the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply.
Confidence within the sector is at its highest for more than four years.
Rail operator GNER has won the right to claim compensation from Railtrack for long-term damage to business following the Hatfield disaster. The ruling, from the independent Network Change Committee, comes after GNER successfully argued that there was a fundamental change to the network when Railtrack imposed speed restrictions after the crash.