The company behind the planned high speed rail network, HS2, has launched the bidding process for rolling stock contracts.
It has today published the first stage of a procurement notice to build and maintain up to 60 trains.
The contract has an estimated value of £2.75bn and is expected to be issued in 2019 , Transport Secretary Chris Grayling has announced.
According to the notice, there will be an industry day on March 27, 2017, which will be followed by the launch of the pre-qualification questionnaire to provide details of train specifications.
Bidders will be shortlisted following the PQQ with a formal invitation to tender being issued next year.
Chris Hobson, Director of Policy at East Midlands Chamber, said: “Derby and the surrounding area has the biggest cluster of rail firms in Europe and therefore the most-focused rail-based skills set in the UK available to work on HS2.
“HS2 is going to be a huge project, running for a very long time.
“It will provide a raft of opportunities for local firms to be involved, which will create jobs and growth over many years.”
He said the Chamber would keep members apprised of opportunities to be involved in the HS2 project.
Mr Hobson added: “The more local firms are involved in the project, the more HS2 will deliver for the country even before it is built and enables the estimated £4.1bn economic benefit for the East Midlands and Yorkshire.”
The HS2 high speed rail link aims to eventually link Leeds and Birmingham via Toton across the East Midlands.