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Hitachi Ltd. of Japan and French partner Alstom SA won a £2 billion (¥300 billion) contract to supply a fleet of 360 kph electric trains for Britain’s new HS2 high-speed railway.

The consortium, formed by Hitachi and the former Bombardier Transportation business taken over by Alstom in January, will build 54 trains for the first section of track from London Euston station to Birmingham in central England, according to a statement Thursday from HS2 Ltd.

The mega-order will support or create thousands of jobs and boost Britain’s two main train factories, the historic Litchurch Lane works in Derby, central England, now run by Alstom, and Hitachi’s newer Newton Aycliffe plant in the northeast. Manufacture of the 200-meter long trains, which will double up into 16-car formations carrying more 1,000 passengers, begins in 2025.

HS2 suffered a blow last month when British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government scrapped most of a planned eastward extension to Leeds in Yorkshire as the cost of Europe’s biggest infrastructure project climbed above £100 billion. At the same time, it confirmed that trains will start running from 2029 on the western arm, which will continue north to Manchester.

"This is another landmark step in the delivery of HS2,” U.K. Transport Secretary grant Shapps said in the release. "Today’s announcement places Britain firmly at the forefront of the high-speed rail revolution.”

Hitachi Rail Chief Executive Officer Andrew Barr said the new trains will usher in "the next generation” of express travel in the U.K.,” adding to the small fleet of Javelin models — based on its shinkansen — that provide local services on the HS1 line between London and the Channel Tunnel.

Alstom was vying to win the whole order, as the French firm had touted a variant of its own TGV family of trains for the contract.

While returns from the 50:50 venture with Hitachi maybe be less lucrative, the contract provides a boost amid investor concern after Alstom set aside €1 billion ($1.1 billion) against problem contracts inherited with the purchase of Bombardier Transportation from its Canadian parent.

Assembly and initial fit-out of the 432 car bodies will be done at the Hitachi factory in Newton Aycliffe, before the trains move to Alstom’s Derby site for completion and testing.

Wheel units will come from the French firm’s plant in Crewe, with the project sustaining more than 500 jobs directly and about 2,000 in the wider supply chain. Maintenance will be provided at another Alstom facility in Birmingham under a 12-year deal.

While the winning design is an evolution of the ETR 1000 that Hitachi and Bombardier built for Italy’s Trenitalia — which will run trains on HS2 in conjunction with FirstGroup PLC — it’s 15% lighter with 30% more capacity.

The contract was due to be awarded in 2019 but suffered a series of delays. Original bidders included Germany’s Siemens AG, which has taken legal steps over the tender, and Spain’s Construcciones y Auxiliar de Ferrocarriles SA.

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