Global rail giants line up to win £2.5bn HS2 train contract

Train builders from all over the world are lining up their bids to win the lucrative High Speed 2 train contract.

Thought to be worth £2.5 billion, the deal for up to 60 high-speed, classic-compatible EMUs will be awarded after the winner of the new West Coast Partnership franchise is confirmed in late-2018.

However, the major global train builders are already promoting their high-speed credentials and unveiling proposed UK versions of existing designs aimed at the HS2 contract.

Talgo has unveiled a UK loading gauge version of the ‘Avril’ train recently ordered by RENFE for Spanish high-speed lines. TALGO

New designs

Many of the proposed designs were on show at the Railtex trade show in Birmingham on May 9-11, including new designs from Talgo of Spain, Hitachi Rail Europe and Alstom. Bombardier was missing from the event as it seeks to sell its rail division, possibly to Siemens.

Until more detailed information about the specification is released by the Department for Transport (DfT), the concepts on show are necessarily vague and manufacturers are keen to emphasise the flexibility and modular nature of their concepts.

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