High Speed 2 (HS2) has revealed the names of the five shortlisted bidders for the £2.75bn deal to build the UK's next generation of high-speed trains.
The shortlisted companies Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation UK, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo and Siemens will be invited to tender for the contracts, which are expected to cover the design, construction and maintenance of at least 54 trains that will become operational from 2026.
The new locomotives will operate at speeds of up to 225mph and are intended to deliver speed and comfort, while providing additional passenger capacity between the UK’s major cities.
HS2 Minister Paul Maynard said: “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.”
HS2 is slated to create around 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships during the construction phase, as well as across the supply chain in the UK.
"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."
The first trains are expected to begin rolling off the production line in the early 2020s.
HS2 Railway Operations managing director Chris Rayner 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.”
The new locomotives will serve destinations beyond the core HS2 network, including York, Newcastle, Liverpool, the North West, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
They will also be designed to meet the global standards for passenger experience, noise reduction and environmental sustainability.
All five bidders are set to be invited to tender next year and the contracts will be awarded in 2019.
HS2 noted that the successful bidder will be required to maintain the fleet from the network's dedicated rolling stock depot, which is currently planned for construction in Washwood Heath, Birmingham.c