|Britain’s new generation of super-fast “bullet trains” – capable of speeds of more than 200mph – will be designed and built here in the UK, promising massive investment in the North East and Midlands and thousands of new jobs.
Announced today by the Government (9 December), the state-of-the-art high-speed trains will be built by Hitachi/Alstom JV at their factories in Derby, Crewe and County Durham in a major deal set to support 2,500 jobs across the UK.
For the first time, the trains will be entirely designed and assembled on home soil, supporting jobs in factories across the Midlands and North and in their supply chains, including apprentices and roles for young people – a great example of the Government’s Plan for Jobs in action. They will also be the fastest and lowest carbon per passenger km trains of their kind in the UK, minimising environmental impacts and helping decarbonise transport.
Today’s announcement comes following last month’s announcement of the biggest ever public investment in Britain’s rail network. Journeys across HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, both from London and across the Pennines, will be faster, more frequent and reliable under the government’s Integrated Rail Plan over the next couple of decades – including shorter journeys between Leeds and Manchester, Nottingham and Birmingham, and London and Sheffield.
Designed in the UK and capable of speeds of up to 225mph (360km/h), the fully electric trains will also serve destinations on the existing network such as Glasgow, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham.
The first train is expected to roll off the production line around 2027. Following a rigorous process of testing and commissioning, the first passengers are expected to be carried between 2029 and 2033.
Designed to be fully accessible, the interior layout will be decided following a two and a half year collaborative design process involving HS2 Ltd, the Department for Transport and the West Coast Partner, the operator of the trains when they first come into service.
HS2 trains will operate seamlessly between HS2 and the existing rail network halving many journey times across the UK. Each train will be around 200m long, with the option to couple two units together to create a 400m long train with up to 1,100 seats.