Two UK-based rail giants are submitting a ‘Great British’ train proposal to High Speed Two (HS2) that would be the most advanced, customer-oriented train ever to run in the UK.
The contract, worth £2.75billion, is to design, build and maintain at least 54 trains for Phase One of HS2.
Hitachi has pioneered Japan’s world-renowned Shinkansen ‘bullet trains’ while Bombardier offers a depth of international experience from its high speed trains operating in Europe and on the world’s largest network in China.
In 2015, the two companies together delivered the Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) ETR1000 for Trenitalia, which is the fastest yet quietest in-service high speed train in Europe. Operating at speeds up to 225 mph, it has transformed passenger experience and connectivity across Italy.
Its success has been recognised by Trenitalia placing a further order in June 2019 for 14 new trains, increasing Frecciarossa high speed services across Italy.
Hitachi Rail’s managing director Karen Boswell OBE said: “Hitachi-Bombardier’s Great British train for HS2 would be a shining example of British ingenuity. Our bid, if successful, would bring significant benefits for economies and communities, while truly transforming connectivity and passengers’ experience.”
Bombardier’s UK president Phil Hufton said: “HS2 is this generation’s chance to transform our country. Our Great British train will connect our great cities and improve the journeys of every passenger. HS2’s vision is to be a catalyst for growth across Britain – we are ready to make that happen.”
Alongside London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, HS2 services will also serve destinations beyond the core HS2 network, including York, Newcastle, Liverpool, the North West, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Having delivered the hugely popular Javelin HS1 fleet in advance of the 2012 London Games, Hitachi is delivering major orders for new trains, with 286 due to be in service by the end of 2021.
The firm’s purpose-built factory on Aycliffe Business Park is delivering 122 new high speed trains as part of the UK Government’s £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme and a fleet of 70 regional trains for Scotland.