High Speed Two (HS2) has revealed its shortlisted bidders to build trains for the controversial rail line in a £2.75 billion contract.
The search for a HS2 train builder began in January after transport secretary Chris Grayling said that the government was committed to the project. The rail link between London and the north of England is set to begin initial operations in 2026, with full completion expected by 2033.
HS2 says trains will operate at speeds of up to 360km/ph. It is looking at bids from companies that want to build the 54 trains needed for the line.
The shortlisted bidders are Alstrom Transport, Bombardier Transportation UK, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo SLU and Siemens. HS2 has invited all of these companies to tender for the contract in spring 2018, which will cover the design, build and maintenance of the trains. A final decision on the winning contractor is set to be announced in 2019.
HS2 says trains will be required to pass its design and performance needs, as well as international standards for “passenger experience, noise reduction and environmental sustainability”. The builder will have to maintain the trains at a dedicated depot planned for Washwood Heath in Birmingham.
Read the full announcement here.