Siemens scraps legal challenge to British train order

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The logo of German industrial group Siemens is seen in Zurich, Switzerland, January 30, 2019. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann//File Photo

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ZURICH, Dec 10 (Reuters) - Siemens (SIEGn.DE) has scrapped a legal bid to halt the award of a $2.64-billion high-speed train project in Britain to rivals Alstom (ALSO.PA) and Hitachi (6501.T).

The German engineering company will not seek an injunction after losing the contract to build 54 trains for the HS2 high-speed line from London to Birmingham, a spokesman told Reuters, confirming a report in the Daily Telegraph newspaper.

Siemens is still pursuing a claim for damages, the spokesman said late on Thursday, but declined to say how much.

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Transport Minister Grant Shapps awarded the final contract for the HS2 trains and a 12-year maintenance contract to Alstom of France and Hitachi of Japan on Thursday in a deal worth two billion pounds ($2.64 billion).

Siemens, which had also bid, had already complained that Hitachi and Alstom had only been able to make the lowest offer because they had not kept to the tender conditions.

"Of course we are disappointed," its spokesman said. "We still have questions about the procedure."

The Munich-based company still hopes for further HS2 orders in areas such as signaling technology and was wary of incurring costs from delaying the project had its legal challenge failed.

The 54 trains will travel at speeds of up to 225 mph (360 kph) to Birmingham and eventually Manchester.

Hitachi and Alstom plan to build them at three plants in Britain, safeguarding or creating 2500 jobs.

($1=0.7566 pounds)

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Reporting by Alexander Huebner; Writing by John Revill; Editing by Clarence Fernandez

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