Department for Transport announces shortlist for Intercity Express Programme

The Department for Transport has today announced the shortlisted applicants for the flagship Intercity Express Programme (IEP). They are:

  • Alstom-Barclays Rail Group
  • Express Rail Alliance (a consortium comprising Bombardier Transportation, Siemens, Angel Trains and Babcock & Brown)
  • Hitachi Europe

The Intercity Express Programme will create a new design of train that will be lighter and more environmentally friendly than current long-distance trains. They will also be longer and capable of carrying significantly more passengers than current stock.

Rail Minister Tom Harris said: "Last month's Delivering a Sustainable Railway White Paper highlighted the importance of increasing capacity in a flexible manner. The Intercity Express Programme is an excellent example of putting this policy into practice.

"We are developing a flexible train that can be deployed on different lines, in different lengths, and with different sources of power - so this train can operate wherever we need it to in the future."

The Invitation to Tender will be issued to the shortlisted bidders in autumn this year. Proposals will then be received from bidders in summer 2008, with the award of the contract in winter 2008/09.

As agreed in the new InterCity East Coast franchise, signed with National Express earlier this week, a pre-series batch of the trains will be introduced on the East Coast Main Line from 2012. Full production of the fleet will follow, with trains entering full service from 2015, starting on the East Coast and Great Western Main Lines.

Notes to Editors

The new IEP vehicles will be introduced in addition to the 1,300 new carriages identified in the Delivering a Sustainable Railway White Paper. The White Paper also confirmed funding for Network Rail for all necessary investment to accommodate the new trains.

The specification for the Intercity Express Programme has been developed through the rail industry working closely with its customers and suppliers. This ensures a challenging specification that incorporates the best in current industry standards.

The objectives of the Intercity Express Programme are to:

  • Optimise value for money, taking a long term whole-system approach;
  • Improve passenger capacity and make best use of available route capacity;
  • Ensure flexibility of train deployment to cater for future change in use, demand, power and environmental requirements;
  • Deliver a consistent service in terms of the availability and reliability of new trains;
  • Provide for the safety and security of passengers and railway employees;
  • Deliver an environmentally sustainable solution in terms of improved energy efficiency and emissions, and more sustainable construction and maintenance compared to existing High Speed Trains;
  • Meet customer requirements in terms of the facilities and environment provided for passengers.