THE GOVERNMENT has announced which companies can bid to create the trains that will run on the controversial HS2 high-speed rail line.
A group of five companies can now vie to build the trains — Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation UK Ltd, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo SLU, and Siemens PLC.
They will all be invited to tender for the contracts which will cover the design, build and maintenance of at least 54 trains, which are expected to come into service from 2026.
The first trains will begin to roll off the production line in the early 2020s.
All five bidders will be invited to tender in spring 2018, with contracts awarded in 2019.
HS2 minister Paul Maynard said: “Thousands of skilled British jobs and apprenticeships will be created by HS2, which gets a step closer as we reveal the companies shortlisted to build the high speed trains.
“HS2 will see some of the world’s fastest trains connecting our great cities across the north and Midlands, creating an economy that works for everyone.
“But announcements like this show how the benefits of HS2 will resonate far beyond the opening of the new railway. HS2’s legacy of jobs and skills is already being created.”