UK-based rail giants Hitachi and Bombardier are submitting a ‘Great British’ train proposal to HS2 that, they claim, 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.
The two companies have previously worked together when, in 2015, they successfully delivered the Frecciarossa (Red Arrow) ETR1000 for Trenitalia, claimed to be 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 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.”
Having delivered the Javelin HS1 fleet in advance of the 2012 London Games, Hitachi is already delivering major orders for new trains, with 286 due to be in service by the end of 2021. Their purpose-built factory in Durham 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.