International rail companies open new HS2 centre

Posted on 20 Oct 2018 and read 1152 times
International rail companies open new HS2 centreTwo international rail companies with bases in the UK are opening a new High Speed 2 bid centre in Birmingham to develop their plans to build a bullet train for the project.

A team of up to 50 people from both companies — including engineers, designers and environmental specialists — has been put together to work on the proposals.

Based at Millennium Point in Birmingham (and overlooking the site of the planned Curzon Street HS2 station), they
are already developing concepts for what will be the fastest train ever operated in the UK.

The UK’s bullet trains will reach speeds of up to 360kph on the new link between the West Midlands and London when it opens in 2026 and will be ‘classic-compatible’ — able to use the current network to serve cities such as York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The joint bid team is currently looking at how best it can support the strategic goals of the Government’s investment in HS2 (

The development of the major new train fleet could help to boost regional growth, while also delivering the skills and training needed to realise the future export potential of the wider high-speed rail sector.

The final bid will be submitted from the new Birmingham centre to HS2 Ltd by February 2019; the £2.7 billion contract
to design and build 54 trains is due to be awarded in March 2020.

Karen Boswell, Hitachi Rail’s managing director, said: “Apart from creating much-needed additional rail capacity, one of the main aims of HS2 is to boost regional growth and help to re-balance the economy.

"We felt it was important to reflect this by locating our bid centre in Birmingham and increasing Hitachi’s presence in the UK. We aim to build a new British classic train, and our team of experts will be working ‘flat out’ over the coming months to develop a truly world-class bid.”

Richard Hunter, Bombardier Transportation’s managing director UK, said: “HS2 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the nation, and that transformation is happening already in Birmingham.

"The city was the obvious choice for our HS2 bid centre, and it is here that experts from Bombardier and Hitachi are already developing an iconic train fleet capable of winning the bid for this vital project.”

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