'A new spitfire for the British railway'
Karen Boswell, Managing Director for Hitachi Rail has talked of building an iconic train for the future in a team-up with Bombardier UK with a tendering process to begin later this year and award in 2019.
The two firms which employ over 5,000 people have confirmed that they intend to submit a joint bid to design, build and deliver a fleet of bespoke state of the art high speed trains for HS2.
Built on recent high speed success in Italy, with the ETR 1000 also known as the RED Arrow, the new trains will run between the UK's largest cities with faster journeys and encouraging economic growth. The bid will support the UK government's aim of boosting UK jobs, skills and the British supply chain.
Train factories in Derby and Newton Aycliffe will be used as well as extensive UK supply chains together with a network of maintenance facilities across England, Scotland and Wales. The companies are already developing a new generation of engineers and mechanical skills with a focus on diversity and inclusion to attract new talent into the rail industry. The bid provides a launch pad for new investment into education and learning both for apprentices and graduates.
Hitachi originally built the Shinkansen bullet train in Japan in 1964 while Bombardier has built over 3,000 train carriages for China. In the UK Hitachi maintains the Class 395 Javelins, running from Ashford to St Pancras while in Europe Bombardier has enabled some of the most prestigious high speed developments including four TGV series in France.
The bid for HS2 would deploy the latest noise reduction and is for a minimum of 54 units for Phase 1 of HS2 between London and the West Midlands.