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"The builder of France’s TGV trains is hoping to persuade officials planning the UK’s high-speed HS2 line that it can resolve one of their biggest conundrums: that on some of the lines new trains may run more slowly than existing rolling stock.
"Alstom, one of the world’s biggest train makers, has been telling engineers it could offer a train capable of running very fast on the dedicated high-speed line that could also tilt on corners on existing routes.
"Without tilting capability any new train would likely be slower over some sections of the existing network, such as the route from Preston to Glasgow, where Alstom’s tilting Pendolinos currently operate. However, HS2's planners have long doubted that a train would be able to fulfil both functions.
"The discussions have been taking place at a time when HS2, a government-owned company, is considering a change to its rolling-stock strategy. It had looked set to place an initial order for trains capable of running only on the new high-speed line and for another group designed to run on both the new line and on the UK’s existing “classic” network.
"It now looks set to order only trains compatible with the existing network at first, before ordering high-speed-only trains when more of the high-speed network is open. Transport ministers will decide shortly which strategy to pursue."