Economy

Shortlist announced for companies to create HS2 trains

Alstom SA and Siemens AG, the French and German manufacturers planning to combine their trainmaking businesses, are among five bidders shortlisted for a 2.75 billion-pound ($3.6 billion) contract to supply models for the U.K.'s planned high-speed railway.

All bidders will now be invited to tender in spring 2018 for the contracts, which cover the design, build and maintenance of at least 54 high-speed trains.

They are Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation UK, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo and Siemens.

"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".

Hitachi Rail Europe Managing Director Karen Boswell said the company 'looks forward to further developing our proposals for this hugely exciting and important project, which will deliver enormous benefits for the whole of the United Kingdom'.

Of the five bidders, only Bombardier and Hitachi are now 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. New trains will roll off the production line in the early 2020s and the first will enter service in 2026.

The victor of the contracts will be required to deliver the modern rolling stock that will operate at speeds of up to 225mph and give the United Kingdom network a major capacity boost.

Some of the entries shortlisted by HS2 Ltd already have United Kingdom production lines - and the rail minister has said the contract will create "thousands of skilled British jobs and apprenticeships".

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". Construction of the line is seen by the government as creating up to 25,000 jobs.



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