HS2

14.08.18

Talgo launches legal bid against HS2 ‘botched’ £2.8bn train procurement

HS2 Ltd is facing a fresh legal challenge from Spanish manufacturer Talgo over what it argues has been “botched” £2.8bn rolling stock procurement process.

The Madrid-based company was shortlisted as one of the five suppliers to build trains for the new high-speed line as part of a major contract. However, the firm has decided to sue HS2 after Spanish rival CAF launched its own legal challenge and was then added to the shortlist late in the game.

In a complaint filed to the High Court, Talgo claimed that HS2 “failed to exercise rational judgement” and factored in “irrelevant considerations” by allowing CAF back into the tender race.

Talgo wants HS2 to dismiss CAF from the competition or restart the entire procurement process.  

CAF was initially missed off the tender bidding list in November but was added to it in June. It now joins the race alongside Bombardier and Hitachi’s joint bid, German firm Siemens, and France’s Alstom on the shortlist in their bid to design, build, and deliver their fleet of tailored HS2 trains.

A previous legal challenge from CAF claimed that HS2 made errors during the procurement process that breached EU and UK regulations. Those claims were valued at over £10m— with the firm calling for compensation to cover bid costs and damages.

CAF also argued that by leaving it out of the bidding process, HS2’s actions put the company at risk of financial loss and reputation damage, therefore requiring sufficient compensation.

Talgo was unveiled as a bidder for the lucrative £2.75bn HS2 contracts in November 2017. The winner of the contacts will be required to deliver the modern rolling stock that will boost the UK’s network capacity.

HS2 has declined to comment on the case, with a spokesperson saying only that to ensure the best trains are procured, it is vital that a robust competition takes place.

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Image credit: Talgo

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