Britain’s two biggest train manufacturers have welcomed the news that HS2 will proceed in full.
UK based rail giants Hitachi and Bombardier are working together to submit a ‘Great British’ train proposal to HS2 that would be the most advanced, customer-oriented train ever to run in the UK.
The contract, worth £2.75bn, 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.
Responding to the government’s announcement that HS2 will go ahead, Matt Byrne, president, Bombardier Transportation UK and Jim Brewin, UK country lead, Hitachi Rail, from the Hitachi Bombardier High Speed joint venture, said: “This decision is a symbol of confidence in UK plc and great news for the whole country. As Britain’s biggest train manufacturers, we’re excited to continue our joint bid to design and build the Great British train here in the UK.
“It would support thousands of manufacturing and supply chain jobs and unite the midlands and the north. It’s time to work together to deliver the full benefits of HS2.”
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.
Announcing their HS2 joint bid last summer, Hitachi and Bombardier both outlined the transformational effect that HS2 could have throughout the country.
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 president, UK, 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.”