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HS2 faces legal battle over 'botched procurement'

Talgo hs2 trains

High Speed 2 (HS2) is facing a fresh legal battle over its plans to buy £2.8bn of trains.

Spanish manufacturer Talgo has begun legal action after what it claims was a “botched procurement” process.

Talgo was named as one of five shortlisted rolling stock suppliers to build trains for the high speed line.

The Madrid-based firm decided to launch legal action after Spanish rival CAF was added to the shortlist following its own legal challenge.

CAF was reinstated into the competition in June following the announcement that Bombardier and Hitachi were joining forces in their bid to win the contract.

Talgo has now lodged a complaint with the High Court, claiming that project promoter HS2 Ltd “failed to exercise rational judgment” when allowing CAF back into the competition.

The Spanish firm claims that HS2 Ltd has broken procurement rules and wants the rail body to dismiss CAF from the competition or restart the entire procurement process.

Other bidders in the competition to design, manufacture and maintain trains include Alstom of France and Germany’s Siemens.

It is the latest in an increasingly long line of hiccups for HS2 Ltd.

Last week, it was revealed that one in four HS2 workers pocket wages over £100,000, despite stories of significant cost overruns.

In June this year, it was revealed by New Civil Engineer that the initial cost estimates for the main civils works packages were coming in around £1bn over budget.

New Civil Engineer also revealed that the notice to proceed – the notice to start construction – had been pushed back by eight months to allow the contractors to cut costs on the project.

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