Alstom is planning to put double-decker trains on the HS2 rail line. The French rail transport company is said to reveal more of its plans on 24 May as it hopes to win the £7.5bn (€9.69bn, $10.87bn) contract to make 160 trains for this planned rail track.
This track, which is expected to be operational in 10 years, will connect the UK capital with Birmingham and Leeds. Alstom believes its twin-deck designs will be advantageous to passengers.
"The design means double-decker trains are no higher than a standard single deck one. However because the trains that will run on HS2 meet with European standards and are 170mm (6.7 inches) wider, we can do so much more with the space. A double-decker train is a unique proposition and will give a better passenger experience. We are even considering designs such as double-height bars", Henrik Anderberg, acting managing director of Alstom UK & Ireland, explained.
Alstom, which is hoping that its twin-deck designs will be considered by the UK government, said that the extra space would allow the trains to hold 40% more passengers than a standard train that has capacities to hold between 430 and 500 passengers. Anderberg added that the extra level would help in creating a "business class train travel at economy class prices".
Anderberg hoped that the UK government would not turn down this design because of additional costs. He argued that such trains would cost only "marginally" more than traditional trains. He explained that this was because the extra levels, which is primarily the coachwork, made up for only a small part of the total expense, while the power systems, bogies and computers were more expensive and this pretty much remained the same irrespective of the extra level, according to The Telegraph.
While the final specifications of the trains for the HS2 line are not known, these trains are said to be 650ft in length. With regards to where it would build these trains, Anderberg said, "There is no guarantee until we see the specification but we would like to do as much of the work as possible in the UK. We don't just want to assemble the trains in the UK, we want to manufacture their systems here."
Double-decker trains are not new. Such trains built by Alstom have in fact been operating for 20 years across France, Germany, Luxembourg, Spain and Switzerland.