News - 13 December 2021

Derby company announced as part of joint venture to build next generation of high speed trains

HS2 Ltd has confirmed a Hitachi/Alstom JV has been awarded the contracts to build Britain’s next generation of high speed trains in a major deal set to support 2,500 jobs.

Alstom, which is a D2N2 Cornerstone Employer, will fulfil some of the contract at their Derby factory.

The landmark contracts – worth around £2bn – will see the JV design, build and maintain a fleet of 54 state-of-the-art high speed trains which will operate on HS2.

Capable of speeds of up to 225mph (360km/h), the fully electric trains building on the latest technology from the Japanese Shinkansen ‘bullet train’ and European high-speed network. They will be some of the fastest, quietest and most energy efficient high-speed trains operating anywhere in the world.

Transforming the rail industry

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Today’s announcement places Britain firmly at the forefront of the high-speed rail revolution with these state-of-the-art trains serving communities right across the country from London to Glasgow.

“This is another landmark step in the delivery of HS2 which will open up new employment and leisure opportunities for millions of people, levelling up opportunity for generations to come.”

The design, manufacture, assembly, and testing of the new trains will be shared between Hitachi Rail and Alstom.

  • The first stages including vehicle body assembly and initial fit-out will be done at Hitachi Rail’s facility at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham; and
  • The second stage of fit out and testing will be done at Alstom’s Litchurch Lane factory in Derby.

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.

Welcoming the news, HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Mark Thurston said: “Today is a massive day for HS2. The trains that will be built in Derby, Newton Aycliffe and Crewe will transform rail travel – offering passengers unparalleled levels of reliability, speed and comfort and help in the fight to remove carbon from our transport system. I’d like to congratulate Alstom and Hitachi and we look forward to working with them to bring these exciting new trains to passengers across the UK.”

Alstom’s Managing Director, UK & Ireland, Nick Crossfield said: “HS2 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Britain by building a sustainable transport system fit for the 21st Century. I am delighted that Alstom’s joint venture with Hitachi Rail has been selected to develop, build and maintain in Britain the next generation of high-speed trains.”

Serving destinations such as Liverpool, Glasgow, Birmingham, and London, HS2 trains will operate seamlessly between HS2 and the existing rail network halving many journey times across the UK. Each train will be around 200m long, with the option to couple two units together to create a 400m long train with up to 1,100 seats.

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