The contract will be delivered at Hitachi Rail’s new welding facility in Newton Aycliffe, at a...

The contract will be delivered at Hitachi Rail’s new welding facility in Newton Aycliffe, at a new production line at Alstom’s factory in Derby, and by a new bogie manufacturing facility at Alstom Crewe.

Photo: Alstom/Hitachi Rail

Alstom and Hitachi Rail announced that the Hitachi-Alstom High Speed (HAH-S) 50/50 joint venture has signed contracts with High Speed Two (HS2) to design, build, and maintain the next generation of high speed trains for HS2 Phase 1. This is part of the £1.97 billion contract, including an initial 12-year train maintenance contract.

The operational train, capable of operating at maximum speeds of 225mph (360 km/h), will reduce journey times for passengers. The fleet will be 100% electric.

“We are excited to be pioneering the next generation of high speed rail in the UK as part of our joint venture with Alstom," said Andrew Barr, group CEO, Hitachi Rail. "This British-built bullet train will be the fastest in Europe, and I am proud of the role that Hitachi will play in helping to improve mobility in the UK through this project.”

The HAH-S joint venture will manufacture the 54 trains at facilities in County Durham, Derby, and Crewe. The award to the British-based firms will protect and create thousands of green jobs and add £157 million GVA to the UK economy for every year of the train building phase.

The new 200m-long, 8-car trains are set to run in Phase 1 of the project between London and Birmingham, and on the existing network. They will also increase capacity and connectivity between towns and cities across the country including Stoke, Crewe, Manchester, Liverpool, Carlisle, Motherwell, and Glasgow.

“HS2 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Britain by building a sustainable transport system fit for the 21st Century," said Nick Crossfield, Alstom’s managing director, UK & Ireland. "I am delighted that Alstom’s joint venture with Hitachi Rail has been selected to develop, build and maintain in Britain the next generation of high speed trains.”