Hitachi Rail Europe and Bombardier Transportation have committed to setting up a new bid centre in Birmingham to develop their joint proposal to design and build 54 high-speed trainsets for HS2. The companies have assembled a team of around 50 engineers, designers and environmental specialists to work on the bid. The centre will be situated at Millennium Point, which overlooks the planned HS2 station on Curzon Street.
The bid-team is analysing how the proposal can most effectively support the strategic goals of the British Government’s investment in HS2. The development of the new fleet should boost regional growth and also equip employees with the skills and training that can be exported to the wider high-speed rail sector.
Rebecca Delmore, Commercial Director, Millennium Point, said
“The opportunity to host Bombardier Transportation and Hitachi Rail to Millennium Point and support their bid is something we’re really excited to be involved in. HS2 will notably change the whole region, especially Eastside, and Millennium Point has a pivotal role to play as facilitator, which starts now. Our commitment as both Millennium Point the building, and the Millennium Point Charitable Trust, to invest in and support into STEM developments across the region continues to help open doors for Birmingham, as we welcome major players like Bombardier and Hitachi to our doorstep.”
HS2 Ltd have specified that the trains must run at up to 360 km/h and be ‘classic compatible’ so that they can operate on the current network between cities such as York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Karen Boswell, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail, said:
“Apart from creating much needed additional rail capacity, one of the main aims of HS2 is to boost regional growth and help re-balance our economy. We felt it was important to reflect thisby locating our bid centre in Birmingham, and to further increase Hitachi’s presence across 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 winning bid.”
Richard Hunter, Managing Director UK, Bombardier Transportation, said:
“HS2 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the nation, and in Birmingham that transformation is happening already. The city was the obvious choice for our HS2 bid centre, and it is from here that experts from Bombardier and Hitachi are already developing an iconic train fleet capable of winning the bid for this vital project.”
The Procurement Programme for the HS2 trains was announced in April 2017. Several rolling stock manufacturers, including CAF, were invited to submit bids to design the trains. The final proposal for the contract must be submitted to HS2 Ltd by February 2019. The winner of the £2.7 billion contract to design and build the trains will be announced in March 2020.