Government awards HS2 rolling-stock contract

The department for transport has signed a deal to purchase the trains which will run on the High Speed 2 rail network.

The state-of-the-art high-speed trains will be built by Hitachi and Alstom at their factories in Derby, Crewe and County Durham in a major deal.

The government said the move would support 2,500 jobs across the UK.

The trains will be capable of speeds of more than 200mph and will also be designed in the UK.

Transport secretary, Grant Shapps, said: “Not only does this show we are getting on with delivering better and faster journeys through our plans to upgrade the rail network, this is another landmark step in the delivery of HS2, sustaining 2,500 jobs and levelling up employment and leisure opportunities for generations to come.”

The government recently downgraded plans for HS2, scrapping an eastern spur which would have connected Leeds to the network.

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Shapps added: “For the first time, the trains will be entirely designed and assembled on home soil, supporting jobs in factories across the Midlands and north and in their supply chains, including apprentices and roles for young people.

“They will also be the fastest and lowest carbon per passenger kilometre trains of their kind in the UK, minimising environmental impacts and helping decarbonise transport.”

Capable of speeds of up to 225mph, the fully electric trains will also serve destinations on the existing network such as Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.

The first train is expected to roll off the production line around 2027.

Following a rigorous process of testing and commissioning, the first passengers are expected to be carried between 2029 and 2033.

HS2 chief executive, Mark Thurston, said: “The trains that will be built at Derby and Newton Aycliffe will transform rail travel – offering passengers unparalleled levels of reliability, speed and comfort and help in the fight against climate change.

“I’d like to congratulate Alstom and Hitachi and I look forward to working with them as together we bring these exciting new trains to passengers across the UK.”

Each train will be around 200 metres long, with the option to couple two units together to create a train with up to 1,100 seats.

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