The nation's fleet of ageing Intercity trains is to be replaced, at a cost of £7.5bn, ministers will announce this week.
A consortium including Hitachi and the British infrastructure project manager John Laingare the preferred bidders on the contract.
Source closes to Philip Hammond, the Transport Secretary, say that "we will be replacing the old Intercity trains with a fleet that will make journey times quicker and more reliable".
Ministers are keen to stress that even with public spending cuts they aim to preserve vital infrastructure projects, especially in the transport field. Business organisations including the British Chambers of Commerce have urged them to press on with these pro-growth projects.