The UK’s two leading train manufacturers, Alstom and Hitachi Rail, have announced that their Hitachi-Alstom High Speed (HAH-S) joint venture has signed contracts to design, build and maintain the next generation of very-high-speed trains for the first phase of the HS2 high-speed rail line.
The £1.97billion contract, which includes an initial 12-year train-maintenance contract, will see the joint venture deliver Europe’s fastest operational train, capable of operating at maximum speeds of 360 km/h. According to the companies, the 100 per cent electric fleet will be among the world’s most energy efficient very-high-speed trains, thanks to their lower mass per passenger, aerodynamic design, regenerative power and energy-efficient traction technology.
HAH-S will manufacture 54 two-hundred-metre-long, eight-car trains at newly enhanced facilities in County Durham, Derby and Crewe. The trains will run in Phase 1 of the project between London and Birmingham, and on the existing network.
Alstom and Hitachi’s high-speed train platform utilises unprecedented levels of smart digital technology, including innovative sensors that enable potential faults to be identified ahead of time. According to the companies, their designers will work with inclusive-design experts to ensure that the needs of passengers of all ages and abilities are met.
More than 500 people will be directly employed by the two companies during the design and manufacturing phase, including 49 apprentices and graduates. The contract will also provide a launch pad for new investment in education and learning, adding to existing partnerships with local schools and the 200 apprentices and graduates already employed by the two joint venture companies. The two companies have committed to providing UK universities with £5million for research and development.
‘We are excited to be pioneering the next generation of high-speed rail in the UK as part of our joint venture with Alstom,’ said Andrew Barr, group CEO of Hitachi Rail. ‘This British-built bullet train will be the fastest in Europe and I am proud of the role that Hitachi will play in helping to improve mobility in the UK through this project.’
‘HS2 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform Britain by building a sustainable transport system fit for the 21st century,’ said Nick Crossfield, managing director of Alstom UK and Ireland. ‘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.’