Alstom says it is “committed” to supporting HS2 with its new Widnes base after being shortlisted to deliver the new trains.
The company, which recently opened the Liverpool City Region facility as its UK base, is among a number of bidders vying to work on the major infrastructure project.
Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo S.L.U and Siemens PLC were also named alongside Alstom Transport when HS2 Ltd revealed the front-runners yesterday (2 November).
The firms will be invited to tender for the contracts, which will cover the design, build and maintenance of at least 54 trains coming into service from 2026.
Operating at speeds of up to 225mph, the new fleet will be expected to bring reliability, speed and comfort as well as extra capacity between major UK cities.
Following the shortlist announcement Nick Crossfield, managing director of Alstom UK & Ireland, says: “Alstom is a world leader in high-speed railways, with the widest range of high-speed trains on the market. We have a track record in putting passengers first and collaborating with stakeholders to deliver trains that are efficient for customers to use and transform expectations of railways around world.
“But HS2 isn’t just a new railway, it is a once in a generation opportunity to build jobs, skills and growth throughout the UK.
“Alstom is committed to using our UK base in Widnes to support the project; to train a whole new generation of apprentices there in our academy; and to work with the UK supply chain to create a sustainable long-term legacy of growth and opportunity.”
Chris Rayner, HS2 Ltd’s managing director of railway operations adds: “It’s great to see such a strong line-up of experienced high-tech manufacturing and design talent. Together with the successful bidder, HS2 will deliver some of the world’s most advanced rolling stock, engineered to provide seamless, accessible, fast and reliable journeys.
“Starting from 2026, our trains will be used by tens of thousands of people every day, transforming links across the Midlands and the North and providing much-needed extra capacity between Britain’s major cities.”