Mayoral candidate calls for HS2 local investment

British ‘bullet trains’ should be Black Country-built says Liam Byrne.

The UK’s new High Speed rail fleet of ‘bullet trains’ should be designed and built in the Black Country says Labour’s West Midlands mayoral candidate Liam Byrne.

The HS2 rail line linking London, Birmingham and Crewe is to be given the green light by the Prime Minister this week. Liam Byrne now argues the £2·75 billion contract to design, manufacture and maintain the 54 train sets in the High Speed 2 train fleet should be passed to which ever firm promises to make the trains in the Black Country, where the world’s first steam engine was demonstrated.

Five consortia submitted bids to build the trains on June 5th and the winner will be announced soon. Byrne will soon convene talks of local government leaders to find an ideal site for a new factory. A very light rail research and development facility, led by Dudley College in partnership with Birmingham University and others, is already underway.

Liam Byrne said; “High Speed 2 is going to make Birmingham and the West Midlands the high speed cross-roads of Britain. But that’s not enough. I want to see High Speed 2 used to kick-start a manufacturing renaissance. So whoever is awarded the contract to build the British ‘bullet train’ should be asked to build them in the Black Country. The crucible of the steam revolution should now become the epicentre of the High Speed electric rail revolution.

“I’ve helped win the Network Control centre for High Speed 2 rail for Birmingham. Now we need to own the business of building the trains for the Black Country.”