Siemens: Unrivalled experience

Source: RTM Aug/Sept 2018

Siemens has a well-established footprint in the UK and has long been a part of its industrial heritage. Now, with HS2 just around the corner, it could go one step further and deliver the most reliable and advanced trains for the brand-new high-speed line, argues Jo Hensher, HS2 rolling stock bid director at the company.

HS2 represents a huge opportunity to showcase the success of the UK’s rail industry on a global stage, attracting investment into this thriving sector and securing its long-term future.

The world is watching HS2’s evolution closely. For such a high-profile and eagerly anticipated project, only the most reliable and technologically advanced trains will do.

Siemens – with its technological expertise, international high-speed rail experience, and its long-term commitment to the UK – is uniquely placed to offer HS2 just this.

We will offer HS2 the innovations from the Velaro Novo, our newest high-speed train which will be premiered at InnoTrans 2018. The result of five years of development, this train can offer comfort, efficiency and flexibility that will impress passengers, rail operators and investors alike. Siemens will utilise the Velaro Novo’s innovative features within the UK’s smaller gauge so that our HS2 train proposal delivers the same outcomes: excellent passenger capacity and experience, enhanced energy efficiency, and optimised whole-life cost.

HS2 can be assured that our proposal will be deliverable. It will channel all of the field experience we have gained from three generations of the Velaro platform – some of the world’s fastest high-speed trains operating in countries such as Spain, China, Russia, Germany and, of course, the UK, where our Eurostar e320 fleet runs at 320km/h.

Since the first Velaro was delivered in Spain in 2005, more than 1,000 Velaro trains operating worldwide have covered over two billion kilometres at speeds up to 380 km/h, and are adding one million kilometres to this total every single day.

In the UK, we maintain the largest installed base of Siemens rolling stock in the world. Our 500+ trains clock up over 65 million miles every year and regularly dominate the reliability league tables. Such experience is unrivalled.

Furthermore, we are proving the new technologies of the Velaro Novo with rigorous testing. Since April 2018, a test car, integrated into the ICE S operated by DB Systemtechnik, has been undergoing test runs in Germany. Our HS2 proposal will benefit from the learnings gained so that our train is delivered on time and to the highest levels of reliability.

Siemens has long been part of the industrial heritage of the UK – for over 150 years in fact. We see HS2 as a huge opportunity to boost our central role in the UK’s railway.

Our footprint in the UK is already well established, with 14 Siemens factories and plans announced in March this year for a fifteenth – a state-of-the-art train manufacturing factory in Goole, Yorkshire. Goole will play a major role in our plans to deliver HS2, cementing our position in the UK and creating jobs for the local community and in the supply chain, alongside wider benefits for the sector.

As a leader in skills development through our establishment of the National Training Academy for Rail, we also understand the need to close the skills gaps in the rail sector. Siemens already has 575 apprentices in the UK, and apprenticeships will form a cornerstone in our HS2 proposals. We would also work closely with the National College for High Speed Rail to train these apprentices, building on our existing collaboration activities.

It is for these reasons – the wealth of technical knowledge, the ability to deliver on time and to the highest standard, and our longstanding commitment to the rail sector in the UK – that we believe Siemens is best placed to be HS2’s partner for rolling stock. Siemens strongly believes that HS2 will bring significant benefits to the UK economy, local communities and passengers. We are eager to play a role in this transformational project.


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