Alstom and Hitachi Rail have confirmed that the Hitachi-Alstom High Speed (HAH-S) 50/50 joint venture has signed contracts with High Speed Two (HS2) to design, build, and maintain the next generation of very high speed trains for HS2 Phase 1 as part of the £1.97 billion contract, including an initial 12-year train maintenance contract.
The UK’s two leading train manufacturers will deliver Europe’s fastest operational train, capable of operating at maximum speeds of 225mph (360 km/h), significantly reducing journey times for passengers. The fleet will be 100% electric, and be one of the world’s most energy efficient very high speed trains due to the lower train mass per passenger, aerodynamic design, regenerative power and latest energy efficient traction technology.
In a major boost to grow and rebalance the economy, the HAH-S joint venture will manufacture the 54 trains at newly enhanced facilities in County Durham, Derby and Crewe. The award to the British-based firms will protect and create thousands of green jobs and add £157 million GVA to the UK economy for every year of the train building phase.
The new 200m-long, 8-car trains are set to run in Phase 1 of the project between London and Birmingham, and on the existing network, and will dramatically increase capacity and connectivity between towns and cities across the country including Stoke, Crewe, Manchester, Liverpool, Carlisle, Motherwell and Glasgow. They will have a major impact in reducing carbon emissions from transport by encouraging people away from fossil fuelled cars and planes, and onto rail.
Predominantly UK-designed, the trains will be built, tested and maintained in Britain and will be one of the most advanced in Europe, supported by decades of experience in very high speed trains around the world. On the new HS2 network, passengers will be able to benefit from very high reliability levels and the latest passenger innovations.
Alstom and Hitachi’s high speed train platform utilises unprecedented levels of smart digital technology. The in-built digital system includes state of art innovative sensors that enable potential faults to be identified and ensuring reliable and seamless passengers’ journeys.
Being 100% electric and having the ability to transport over 500 people per journey, ensures the new HS2 fleet is a lower carbon alternative than making the same journey by road or air. This environmental benefit will increase over time as the electricity it draws from the grid becomes increasingly decarbonised in the coming decades.