LONDON (Reuters) - France’s Alstom and Germany’s Siemens are among the firms shortlisted to make trains to run on Britain’s new High Speed 2 network, the railway’s developer said on Thursday.
Bombardier Transportation, Hitachi Rail Europe and Spain’s Patentes Talgo are also on the shortlist of bidders for the 2.75 billion pound ($3.6 billion) contract.
China’s state-owned CRRC, the world’s biggest trainmaker with increasingly international ambitions, is not on the list.
The contract is to build at least 54 trains for the network, which is set to link London to the north of England from 2026, and it also covers the design and maintenance of the fleet.
The new trains will operate at speeds of up to 225 miles per hour, HS2 said, adding that the rail project as a whole would create around 25,000 jobs.
“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,” Paul Maynard, minister for rail and HS2, said in a statement.
However, the project has divided opinion in Britain because of its rising costs and the potential impact on the countryside and local communities.
The five bidders will be invited to tender in spring 2018, and the rail network’s developer confirmed that the contracts were still due to be awarded in 2019.
($1 = 0.7574 pounds)
Reporting by Alistair Smout; Editing by Keith Weir