Aerospace giant Bombardier is flying high after making it onto a shortlist of five in the running for a £2.75 billion contract to provide trains for the planned High Speed 2 rail scheme.
Bombardier, which houses its main plant on Litchurch Lane, in Derby, with a maintenance site in Barton under Needwood, will battle for the multi-billion pound contract to build 54 trains, expected to come into service from 2026.
The four other companies vying for the contract are Alstom from France, Japan's Hitachi Rail Europe, Siemens of Germany and Patentes Talgo from Spain.
The five shortlisted companies will now be encouraged to submit proposals for the scheme, covering the design, build and maintenance of the trains.
The overall HS2 scheme will cost £56 million to build a new high-speed rail line which will connect cities from London to Birmingham, and Manchester and Leeds.
Phase one of the project would see the rail line created between London and the West Midlands. Phase two would see it run from the West Midlands to Leeds, including through 33 miles of Staffordshire and parts of North West Leicestershire, including Measham.
According to HS2 Ltd, the company responsible for the delivery of the scheme, the high speed trains will carry tens of thousands of people every day on the HS2 network and beyond.
Trains will be capable of operating at speeds of up to 225 miles per hour and HS2 minister Paul Maynard said the project would help to connect cities across the country.
Mr Maynard told our sister title, the Derby Telegraph : "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.
"HS2 will see some of the world's fastest trains connecting our great cities across the north and midlands, creating an economy that works for everyone."
The successful company selected to build the trains are expected to have them rolling off the production line by in the early 2020s.
Chris Rayner, the HS2 Ltd managing director of railway operations, said: "It's great to see such a strong line-up of experienced high-tech manufacturing and design talent.
"Together with the successful bidder, HS2 will deliver some of the world’s most advanced rolling stock, engineered to provide seamless, accessible, fast and reliable journeys.
"Starting from 2026, our trains will be used by tens of thousands of people every day, transforming links across the Midlands and the North and providing much-needed extra capacity between Britain’s major cities."
The successful bidder will be responsible for maintaining the fleet from a dedicated rolling stock depot which will be set up in Washwood Heath in Birmingham.
The final decision on which firm will be selected to produce the trains will be decided in 2019.
What we know so far about HS2
The new lines between London and the West Midlands will carry 400 metre-long trains travelling up to 250 miles per hour. These will facilitate for around 1,100 passengers per train along the line.
The route would then split off from Birmingham, heading to either Manchester or Leeds.
When will it be finished?
The first phase should be completed by December 2026, allowing for the high speed trains to travel between the capital and Birmingham, where commuters will have to transfer to existing services.
The lines then running to Manchester and Leeds, the second phase of the project, should then be finished and operating by the year 2033.
How much will this cost commuters?
No exact fares have been written in stone as yet. However, the Government has said that its proposals "assume a fares structure in line with that of the existing railway."
Therefore, a similar fare should be expected to what you would currently spend on a ticket for the same routes.