Five companies have been shortlisted for the £2.75billion contract to build trains for HS2.
The vehicles will be built to travel at 225mph along the high speed rail routes from London to the north.
Alstom Transport, Bombardier Transportation UK, Hitachi Rail Europe, Patentes Talgo and Siemens are vying for the right to build and maintain at least 54 new trains.
Some of the entries shortlisted by HS2 Ltd already have UK production lines - and the rail minister has said the contract will create "thousands of skilled British jobs and apprenticeships".
Phase 1 of the £55.7billion rail route will open between London and Birmingham in December 2026.
A second Y-shaped phase of HS2 will launch in two stages. Phase 2a from the West Midlands to Crewe will begin in 2027, followed by Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to Leeds, in 2033.
The new trains will also serve destinations on conventional lines beyond the core HS2 network, including York, Newcastle, Liverpool, Glasgow and Edinburgh.
They will be expected to meet the highest international standards for noise reduction and environmental sustainability.
The contract is expected to be awarded in late 2019.