Hitachi Rail and Bombardier Transportation have opened a High Speed 2 (HS2) bid centre in Birmingham to develop and manufacture new trains for the project.

In July, both companies agreed to place a joint bid for the £2.75bn rolling stock contract for the HS2 project.

Based at Millennium Point, the new HS2 bid centre will be responsible for working on the proposals, with final bid to be submitted by February next year.

Hitachi Rail managing director Karen Boswell said: “Apart from creating much needed additional rail capacity, one of the main aims of HS2 is to boost regional growth and help re-balance our economy.

“We felt it was important to reflect this by locating our bid centre in Birmingham, and to further increase Hitachi’s presence across the UK.”

"It is from here that experts from Bombardier and Hitachi are already developing an iconic train fleet capable of winning the bid for this vital project."

A nearly 50-member team comprising employees from both the companies will work on the proposals.

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By GlobalData

The team, which includes engineers, designers and environmental specialists, already started developing concepts for the high-speed rail to support the bid.

Bombardier Transportation UK managing director Richard Hunter said: “HS2 is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to transform the nation, and in Birmingham that transformation is happening already.

“The city was the obvious choice for our HS2 bid centre, and it is from here that experts from Bombardier and Hitachi are already developing an iconic train fleet capable of winning the bid for this vital project.”

Scheduled to be awarded in March 2020, the HS2 rolling stock contract involves design and delivery of 54 high-speed trains.

All these new trains will have a compatible design to run on the current rail network to multiple cities, including York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.