Rolling stock manufacturers Bombardier Transportation and Hitachi Rail Europe have agreed to jointly bid for a £2.75bn contract to manufacture high-speed trains for the UK’s HS2 project.

The firms confirmed that they will submit a joint bid to design, build and deliver trains that will operate on the HS2 network.

In November last year, the two companies were shortlisted by HS2 for the rolling stock contract along with Alstom, Patentes Talgo and Siemens.

The overall contract is expected to involve the delivery of at least 54 trains that will operate on Phase 1 of HS2 between London and the West Midlands.

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“HS2 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the nation’s transport network and we are very excited by the chance to play a key part in delivering it.”

The trains will also be made compatible to run on the current network to different cities such as York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

A tendering process is scheduled to start later this year, with the contract expected to be awarded in late-2019.

Bombardier Transportation UK managing director Richard Hunter said: “HS2 is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform the nation’s transport network and we are very excited by the chance to play a key part in delivering it.

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“By joining together in partnership with Hitachi we will combine both company’s global high-speed expertise with unrivalled British experience and help generate skills and prosperity across a number of UK regions.”

Bombardier and Hitachi’s UK operations currently include train factories in Derby and Newton Aycliffe, a strong supply chain, as well as multiple maintenance facilities.

The companies recently joined forces to deliver high-speed rail in Italy.

Capable of operating at a top speed of 398km/h, the resulted ETR 1000 trains for Trenitalia in Italy were built using 85% recycled materials.