HS2 has submitted a contract notice to the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU), formally launching the £2.75 billion contract for the design, manufacture and maintenance of around 60 new high-speed trains.
Hundreds of jobs will be created by the contract, says HS2, which went on to say it would be working closely with suppliers and the wider supply chain.
This first tranche is for what HS2 has described as its ‘conventional compatible’ fleet – high-speed trains that will also be able to operate on the conventional rail network.
The successful bidder will maintain the fleet from Washwood Heath in Birmingham.
Invitations to tender are due to be issued to shortlisted manufacturers in spring 2018. The contract will then be awarded in late 2019.
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: “It is a given that we want the trains to be comfortable, reliable and a pleasure to use, meeting the highest standards internationally for passenger experience, noise reduction, and environmental sustainability.
“But companies interested in bidding for the train contract need to push the boundaries. We want to see innovation, creativity and ambition.
“The construction of these trains will also leave a legacy for this country, boosting skills, generating employment and strengthening the manufacturing supply chain.”
The trains will serve the first stretch of the new high-speed railway when it opens in 2026.
Additional contracts will be issued in the future to increase the fleet size for the second phase of the project.