Posted 2nd November 2017 | 11 Comments

HS2 rolling stock bidders named

FIVE companies have been shortlisted to build the first generation of trains for HS2.

The fleet of at least 54 trains, capable of travelling at 360km/h, will be built early in the next decade to enter service in 2026.

The bidders are Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo and Siemens, who will all now be invited to lodge detailed tenders.

This initial fleet is expected to be ‘classic compatible’ and built to the British structure gauge, meaning that its size will allow the new trains to continue beyond Phase 1 of HS2 between London and Birmingham to serve destinations on existing lines in the north west and Scotland.

Larger trains, suitable only for HS2, are likely to follow when the later sections of high speed line are opened to Manchester and Leeds in 2033.

HS2 Ltd said the contract was expected to ‘create hundreds of jobs and boost Britain’s skills and expertise in the high speed rail sector’.

Of the five bidders, only Bombardier and Hitachi are currently equipped to build the trains in Britain, but other bidders could set up a construction plant in this country if they win the contract, which is expected to worth £2.75 billion.

Rail 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.”

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Tim, Plymouth

    Since the contracts will only be signed post brexit, surely they can stipulate that all train building must occur in the UK instead of just 'could by UK based'

  • Melvyn Windebank, Canvey Island, Essex

    HS2 Stage 1 includes a link to the WCML near Birmingham which will allow classic Compatible trains to use HS2 from London thus gaining the benefits of faster running and then rejoining WCML to continue journeys be it Manchester or Scotland.

    As for HS2 legislation for stage 2a which extends HS2 to just outside Crewe is now before Parliament. With consulting on final stafge 2b underway !

    As for building HS2 we'll visit Euston Station and you will find advance works like building demolition and surveys re utility diversions similar to when Crossrail began underway so building work on HS2 has begun ....

    Euston Station has also seen closures to allow preparations for HS2

  • MikeB, Liverpool

    Unfortunately, the last British-owned compatible train builder BREL was privatised and acquired by Swiss/Swedish company ABB in 1989 which, in turn, became part of Bombardier. Around the same time, GEC merged it's transport business with French conglomerate Alsthom. GEC became defunct and left the business to the French. Hence, tnere are no longer any British-owned engineering companies with expertise in this field.

  • Chris Neville-Smith, Durham

    Bit surprised that they want the entire phase 1 fleet to be classic compatible. One would have thought that London-Birmingham services would be using captive fleet from day one.

    Jak Jaye: Do I *have* to explain how HS2 London - North West services work after phase 1?

  • kevin e, toronto, Canada

    Iwonder what they are going to suggest.good to see bombardier biding I just wonder what theheck they are going to offer though. a zefiro U.K.? per haps

  • MikeB, Liverpool

    Talgo indeed want to open an assembly plant in the UK and Alstom/Siemens will be doing the same at Widnes. Also, we are informed that CAF are considering a factory at Newport, South Wales. With the possibility of five train building factories in the UK, could there be a danger of over-capacity, as undoubtedly, production would be for the domestic market only.
    [CAF's plans have gone beyond 'considering;, I think you will find. But 'undoubtedly'? It's not that long ago since Bombardier built Gautrains for South Africa at Derby -- based on the Electrostar. We are more optimistic at Railnews!--Editor.]

  • Roger Capel, Sheffield

    Alstom AND Siemens??! Pardon me, but aren't they in the process of merging? Better make that FOUR bidders!!!

    [Yes, you are right about the merger. But it hasn't happened yet, and both entities must have lodged separate expressions of interest. Presumably if either becomes 'preferred bidder' then the new Alstom-Siemens company would be happy. We must wait for HS2 Ltd to update its version in due course!--Editor.]

  • Chris, Pontefract

    It is nothing short of scandalous that there are no UK based companies on the tender list. Any jobs created in the UK will only be short term, why can't parliament realise the country must invest and re-develop a strong manufacturing base. We were told leaving the EU would be bad for trade yet most of these firms are based in the EU...... does anyone in Whitehall have a clue what they are doing?

  • jak jaye, surrey

    So a short list of bidders to build the stock for a line that probably will never be complete it will finish at BNS and stay there! lucky Brummies eh this is a huge vanity project that is wasting billions of taxpayers money in handouts and dodgey redundancy payoffs and as for the 'hundreds' of jobs how many will be for British people? answers on a postcard please!


    It's a shame that there are no UK owned companies capable of building these trains.

  • Paul, Newcastle

    Patentes Talgo also said they want to build a plant here in the UK