Nov 30 2023
Derby-based Alstom will work with Hitachi to build Britain’s next generation of high-speed trains in a major deal set to support 2,500 jobs across the UK.
The £2 billion landmark contracts will see the joint venture design, build and maintain a fleet of 54 state-of-the-art high-speed trains that will operate on HS2 – the new high-speed railway being built between London, the West Midlands and Crewe.
Capable of speeds of up to 225mph (360km/h), the fully electric trains will also run on the existing network to places such as Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester.
Building on the latest technology from the Japanese Shinkansen ‘bullet train’ and European high-speed network, they will be some of the fastest, quietest and most energy-efficient high-speed trains operating anywhere in the world.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said:
“Today’s announcement places Britain firmly at the forefront of the high-speed rail revolution with these state-of-the-art trains serving communities right across the country from London to Glasgow.
“This is another landmark step in the delivery of HS2 which will open up new employment and leisure opportunities for millions of people, levelling up opportunity for generations to come.”
The design, manufacture, assembly, and testing of the new trains will be shared between Hitachi Rail and Alstom.
The first train is expected to roll off the production line around 2027 and following a rigorous process of testing and commissioning, the first passengers are expected to be carried between 2029 and 2033.
Alstom’s Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Nick Crossfield said:
“HS2 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Britain by building a sustainable transport system fit for the 21st Century.
“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.”
A recent study commissioned by Hitachi/Alstom JV estimates that the award could generate benefits of £157m per year across the UK and support 2,500 jobs including opportunities for apprenticeships and graduates.
Serving destinations such as Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham, and London, HS2 trains will operate seamlessly between HS2 and the existing rail network halving many journey times across the UK.
Each train will be around 200m long, with the option to couple two units together to create a 400m long train with up to 1,100 seats.
The train will also be 15% lighter and offer 30% more seats than comparable high-speed trains in Europe – such as the Italian ETR1000 built by joint venture between Hitachi Rail and Alstom.
Alongside, design, manufacturing and testing, the contracts also include twelve years of maintenance which could be extended in the future to cover the estimated 35-year life of the rolling stock.
The fleet will be maintained at a new maintenance depot being built by HS2 at Washwood Heath on the outskirts of Birmingham, creating jobs and additional apprenticeship opportunities.
The Hitachi/Alstom joint venture will work with HS2 and Birmingham City Council to support the development of opportunities for employment arising from the construction of the new maintenance depot at Washwood Heath, Birmingham and to provide opportunities for local people to engage in training and development opportunities.
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