Britain has opened bidding for a £2.75bn ($3.4bn) contract, to design, build and maintain a fleet of trains for the UK's new High Speed Two (HS2) railway network.

The announcement was made by Department of Transport and HS2 Limited on Friday (20 January).

According to the contract, the company winning the bid will be required to provide 60 trains that can travel at a speed of 225mph. Further, each train is expected to have a seating capacity of more than 1,000 passengers.

The company winning the bid will be awarded the contract in 2019. The first phase of the high speed rail network is scheduled to be completed by 2026, while the second by 2033.

Chris Rayner, MD at HS2 Limited-Railway Operations, said: "Starting from 2026, our trains will be used by tens of thousands of people every day, bringing the benefits of high speed rail not only to the core network, but also onward to places like Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Preston and Wigan."

According to Transport Secretary Chris Grayling, the project will also boost the economy by creating several jobs. He said in a statement: "Launching the hunt for a manufacturer of these trains is a major step towards Britain getting a new railway which will carry over 300,000 people a day, improve connections between our great cities, generate jobs, and helping us build an economy that works for all.

"In total 25,000 jobs and 2,000 apprenticeships will be created during HS2 construction and we have held discussions with UK suppliers to make sure they are in the best possible position to win contracts."

The trains will be required to meet HS2's design and performance needs, the statement said. Additionally, these trains are also required to meet the highest international standards for passenger experience, noise reduction and environmental sustainability.