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Building trains at Hitachi's facility in Newton Aycliffe
Building trains at Hitachi's facility in Newton Aycliffe

Press release -

Global High Speed Rail Learning Programme - Bombardier Transportation and Hitachi Rail to work with the National College for High Speed Rail

Hitachi and Bombardier, the UK-based global technology and engineering leaders who have joined forces in a bid to build the trains for HS2, are already attracting new British talent into the industry and developing the next generation of engineers. Today at the NCHSR in Doncaster, the companies are announcing the next step: A Global High Speed Rail Learning Programme.

If their bid is successful, the two companies have committed to working more closely with the NCHSR at its campuses in Doncaster and Birmingham. The companies are today meeting with the College in Doncaster to discuss the development of a new Global High Speed Rail Learning programme designed to provide a pathway from apprentice to further study at degree level; study which could include global high speed placements at the two company’s locations in Italy, Germany, Japan, Sweden and the UK. The pathway would be open to NCHSR students, and those recruited by Hitachi and Bombardier.

Hitachi and Bombardier have formed a joint venture to bid for the contract to build and maintain the trains that will operate on Phase One of High Speed Two (HS2) from London to Birmingham. Hitachi and Bombardier’s experts are already innovating to create a new lighter, quieter and more energy efficient train, with features to maximise passenger comfort and capacity, and running at speeds of 360km/h. This hugely significant project will require the global expertise of both companies, and the participation of the next generation of specialists in design, production & maintenance.

The JV companies will expand their graduate and apprentice schemes, with a particular focus on diversity and inclusion, and aim to attract and develop the very best talent to work within HS2 project delivery teams. Train delivery for Phase One of HS2 is scheduled to take place by 2026 and maintenance of the trains will be required over a minimum 12-year period, meaning that the high speed rail sector will provide exciting, long-term career prospects.

Subject to passing a rigorous selection process run by Hitachi and Bombardier, a selected group of students from the NCHSR in Doncaster will be invited to undergo an intensive learning programme which will involve skills development acquired through experience of Hitachi’s and Bombardier’s global centres of excellence.

Once the contract has been awarded in 2020 the successful HS2 bidder will be part of a collaborative design process to shape the final product, with the interiors and passenger offering specified by the Department for Transport and the HS2 franchise operator.

Karen Boswell, Managing Director at Hitachi Rail, said:

“This exciting global scheme offers young people a once-in-a-lifetime learning opportunity. We aim to build an iconic British train for HS2 that will offer an unrivalled passenger experience but this investment also has to deliver a skills and supplier legacy for the UK. We want to bring in and nurture new talent that will support the high speed rail industry both here at home and for export abroad.”

Phil Hufton, Managing Director UK, Bombardier Transportation, said:

“HS2 is the ultimate future-looking project so we are developing a train fit for the 2030’s, not today. That’s why we are determined to harness the very best young talent, and build learning pathways from Doncaster and beyond; all to create in this country a lasting, exportable legacy in high speed rail.”

Clair Mowbray, Chief Executive, National College for High Speed Rail, said:

“We are excited about the potential development of an innovative global high-speed rail learning programme for the Bombardier and Hitachi joint venture, as part of their building and maintenance bid for HS2. We are thrilled to be engaged with Bombardier and Hitachi at this stage in their bidding and we are working with the companies to develop and implement a robust and inspiring apprenticeship programme that will ensure a highly skilled workforce to deliver the build and maintenance contracts for HS2.”


For more information, please contact:

David Meechan, Hitachi Rail: - 07925 636 703 or Will Tanner, Bombardier Transportation, on 07768 031663

Notes to editors:

Hitachi and Bombardier have formed a joint venture to design, build and maintain 54 trains for HS2 Phase 1. The final bid is to be submitted in spring next year and the £2.7bn contract is due to be awarded in 2020.

The next generation of high speed trains will offer passengers an unrivalled travel experience at it runs at speeds of up to 360 km/h on the the new link between the West Midlands and London when it opens in 2026.

The trains will also be specially designed to make them ‘classic compatible,’ so that they are able to travel on the current network to serve cities such as York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Bombardier and Hitachi’s combined UK operations currently employ around 7000 people, that includes train factories in Derby and Newton Aycliffe, extensive regional supply chains, together with a network of maintenance facilities across England, Scotland and Wales. The companies are already developing a new generation of engineers, with a focus on diversity and inclusion to attract new talent into the rail industry. The joint HS2 project would provide a launch pad for new investment in education and learning, adding to their existing partnerships with local schools and the 200 apprentices and graduates who are already employed.

The partnership between the two UK-based firms is built on an impressive depth of experience delivering high speed trains internationally. Hitachi original Shinkansen bullet train in Japan in 1964, and, boasting an impeccable safety and reliability record, continues to pioneer the most recent incarnations of the iconic trains. Bombardier offers a depth of experience having built over 3,000 high speed train carriages for China, including the most recent CHR380D.

In the UK, Hitachi maintains the country’s only domestic high speed fleet, the Class 395 Javelins, which it built and introduced ahead of the London 2012 Games. The trains, which have run from Ashford to London St Pancras at a top speed of 140mph for almost a decade, are one of the most reliable and popular services in the country. While in Europe, Bombardier has enabled some of the most prestigious very high speed developments across the continent, including four TGV series in France, the AVE S-102 and AVE S-130 in Spain, the ICE family in Germany and the ETR 1000 in Italy realised in partnership with Hitachi.

The two companies are also making responsible procurement a cornerstone of their approach, in terms of long-term employment and reducing environmental impact.

This Joint Venture is an agreement to share HS2 bidding information between Hitachi Rail and Bombardier Transportation with a view to jointly bid to build a new fleet for HS2. Hitachi Rail and Bombardier Transportation remain competitors in all other markets and competitions.



About Hitachi Rail Europe

Hitachi Rail Europe is a global transport specialist with over 100 years of experience building pioneering trains, offering quality maintenance and developing innovative new technology. As a leader in rail we’re improving transport for passengers, connecting communities and helping to boost the UK’s economy.

Having delivered the hugely popular Javelin HS1 fleet in advance of the 2012 London Games, Hitachi is delivering major orders for new trains, with 281 due to be in service by 2021. The first wave of new trains is being made at our purpose-built factory in County Durham and entered passenger service in 2017 as part of the UK Government’s £5.7bn Intercity Express Programme. With a proud reputation for innovation, Hitachi is at the forefront of using new digital technology to enhance passenger experience and enrich Britain’s railway’s heritage. Hitachi rail is growing rapidly, employing over 2,000 people and soon to be operational at 15 locations across the UK.

For more information about the company, please visit: or follow us on Twitter@HitachiRailEU

About Bombardier Transportation

Bombardier Transportation is a global leader in rail technology and offers the broadest portfolio in the industry. It covers the full spectrum of rail solutions, ranging from trains to sub-systems and signalling. The company also provides complete transport systems, e-mobility technology and maintenance services. As an innovation driver, Bombardier Transportation continuously breaks new ground in sustainable mobility. It provides integrated solutions that create substantial benefits for operators, passengers and the environment. Headquartered in Berlin, Germany, Bombardier Transportation employs around 39,850 people and its products and services operate in over 60 countries.

For more information about the company, please follow us on Twitter@BombardierR_UK

About the National College for High Speed Rail

The National College for High Speed Rail is a brand new employer-led college that has been created by the Government to help British students develop world class skills in engineering and for the delivery of major infrastructure programmes.

The college is a state-of-the-art training facility built on two new campuses in Birmingham and Doncaster. It opened its doors to students in October 2017 to provide the training for the high-tech engineers, managers, designers, apprentices and advanced manufacturing talent needed for the UK’s High Speed Rail industry, as well as other major British infrastructure schemes.

The colleges have been funded and supported by the UK Government, the Department for Education, the Department for Transport, the Education and Skills Funding Agency, the Institute for Apprenticeships, HS2 Ltd, Birmingham City Council, Doncaster Council, Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, Sheffield City Region LEP, West Midlands Combined Authority and the Midlands Engine.

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