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Britain opens bidding for $3.4 billion high speed train contract

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Staff Writer |
UK train
Transportation   225 miles per hour in Britain

Britain opened the bidding on Friday for a 2.75 billion pound ($3.4 billion) contract to build a fleet of trains for a new high speed railway project to link London with the north of England.

The government was looking to order up to 60 trains, which could each seat over 1,000 passengers and travel at around 225 miles per hour, and planned to award the contract in 2019.

Britain's 56 billion pound High Speed 2 railway will connect London to cities in the country's central and northern regions, with a first phase planned to open in 2026 and a second by 2033.

The first phase of the project, which has divided opinion in Britain because of its rising costs and the potential impact on the countryside and local communities, is due to get final approval shortly, the Department for Transport (DfT) said.

Calling it Europe's largest infrastructure project, the DfT said construction would start this spring, with building creating 25,000 jobs.

The contract up for grabs on the HS2 trains would cover the design, building and maintenance of the fleet, said the DfT.

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