HS2: The train of the future

Modern Railways Editor Philip Sherratt explains the significance of the biggest rolling stock contract in a generation

HS2 has the green signal. After much uncertainty, Government has given the go-ahead for Phase One of the project to enter its main construction phase. This unlocks major investment in construction of the railway from London to the West Midlands. After much debate and discussion, the way forward is now clear.

Those civils contracts for construction had been awarded a couple of years earlier. In the same way, HS2 Ltd is already well underway with the tender to build the first trains for the new high-speed line. The tender process was launched in summer 2018, with five bids submitted in June 2019, from Alstom, a joint venture of Bombardier and Hitachi, CAF, Siemens and Talgo. HS2 is initially seeking at least 54 trains – manufacturers may offer more if they believe there is a need for maintenance purposes.

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