HS2 HAS launched the procurement of a fleet of conventional-compatible trains for Phase 1 of the new high-speed network.

The £2.75 billion contract will be awarded in late 2019 and will cover around 60 trains. The trains will be capable of running on both the high-speed network and existing lines, meaning they will run beyond the London to Birmingham route to serve places such as Manchester, Glasgow and Liverpool. Future contracts will add to this fleet to provide trains for Phase 2 of the project in 2033, with HS2 Ltd foreseeing a requirement for over 100 further trains.

The successful bidder will also maintain the fleet from the dedicated rolling stock depot planned for Washwood Heath in Birmingham. The contract will be split into a manufacture and supply agreement (MSA) and train service agreement (TSA). The manufacturer will also be responsible for fitting out the depot.

Details previously given by HS2 to prospective bidders (p9, last month) indicated the scope for the trains will include automatic train operation (ATO) and signalling. HS2 is encouraging bidders to embrace the latest technology regarding aspects such as splitting and joining of trains, the platform-train interface and noise mitigation.

A shortlist of three to five bidders is sought, with an invitation to tender due to be issued in spring 2018.