HS2 announces shortlist of bidders in race for £2.75bn train-build contract
HS2 Ltd have revealed the train-builders in line to deliver the next generation of Britain’s state-of-the-art high-speed trains, which will carry tens of thousands of people every day across the UK’s new high-speed network and beyond.
The shortlisted bidders are: Alstom Transport; Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd; Hitachi Rail Europe; Patentes Talgo S.L.U and Siemens PLC. All will be invited to tender for the contracts, which will cover the design, build and maintenance of at least 54 trains coming into service from 2026.
Expected to operate at speeds of up to 225mph (360kph), the first trains of the new fleet will begin to roll off the production line in the early-2020s and will deliver unparalleled levels of reliability, speed and comfort as well as providing much-needed extra capacity between the UK’s major cities and giving a boost to high tech skills and expertise in the UK.
Responding to the announcement, Karen Boswell, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail Europe said: “Hitachi is delighted to have been selected for the next stage of the rolling stock procurement process for HS2. We look forward to further developing our proposals for this hugely exciting and important project, which will deliver enormous benefits for the whole of the U.K.”
Jo Hensher, HS2 Bid Director, Siemens UK, commented: “We are excited that Siemens has been shortlisted to take part in HS2’s rolling stock procurement for Phase 1. This is a fantastic opportunity to participate in one of the world’s most prestigious and high profile infrastructure projects. Based on our extensive experience of building very-high-speed trains – including for Russia, Spain, China, Germany and most recently for Eurostar in the UK – we know that this project holds enormous transformative potential for the UK economy. We hope to play a part in supporting the government and HS2 Ltd as they look to deliver this milestone project.”
Welcoming the shortlist, HS2 Minister Paul Maynard said: “Thousands of skilled British jobs and apprenticeships will be created by HS2, which gets a step closer as we reveal the companies shortlisted to build the high-speed trains. HS2 will see some of the world’s fastest trains connecting our great cities across the north and Midlands, creating an economy that works for everyone. But announcements like this show how the benefits of HS2 will resonate far beyond the opening of the new railway. HS2’s legacy of jobs and skills is already being created.”
Chris Rayner, HS2 Ltd Managing Director – Railway Operations, said: “It’s great to see such a strong line up of experienced high-tech manufacturing and design talent. Together with the successful bidder, HS2 will deliver some of the world’s most advanced rolling stock, engineered to provide seamless, accessible, fast and reliable journeys. Starting from 2026, our trains will be used by tens of thousands of people every day, transforming links across the Midlands and the North and providing much-needed extra capacity between Britain’s major cities.”
Providing a world-class passenger experience is at the heart of the requirements for the £2.75 billion contract. The new trains will also serve destinations beyond the core HS2 network, including York, Newcastle, Liverpool, the North West, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The new trains will be required to meet HS2’s design and performance needs and the highest standards internationally for passenger experience, noise reduction, and environmental sustainability, while maximising skills, employment and growth opportunities.
All five shortlisted bidders will be invited to tender in spring 2018, with contracts awarded in 2019.