Government begins HS2 train procurement process


Construction of the line has yet to begin, but the search is on for the HS2 fleet

By Murray Brown

Even before the first physical work starts on building HS2 – the high speed London to Birmingham route – the Government has begun the procurement process for the trainsets needed for the new route.

It announced on January 20 that it was seeking bidders to design, build and maintain up to 60 high-speed trains capable of 225mph (362kmh). This is higher than speeds reached in France and Germany.

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There will be an industry event on March 27 where interested companies can find out more about the bidding requirements and process. This will be followed by the launch of the pre-qualification questionnaire pack, which will provide further details of the specifications for the trains.

Bidders will then be shortlisted, and the formal invitations to tender issued in 2018. The contract award will be announced at the end of 2019.

The winning company will maintain the new trains from a purpose-built facility at Washwood Heath, Birmingham, for which 30 homes will have to be demolished. Washwood Heath will also be the location for the control centre for HS2.

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