The HST is due to be replaced in a few years, and designers at all of the major rolling stock manufacturers are hard at work trying to come up with an equally successful replacement.
The threshold has risen substantially, to the point where 250km/h is considered the minimum for rail to compete effectively with air. It's a threshold which Britain has conspicuously failed to achieve - except on the line linking London with the Channel Tunnel - despite three separate opportunities to get close. Yet things are beginning to change in Britain, with the introduction of a fleet of 225km/h (140mph) EMUs from Hitachi in the next couple of years, and the long-term Intercity Express Programme (IEP), which is expected to replace a number of long-distance fleets. (http://www.railway-technology.com/features/feature1217/). In light of the need of the time, steps have been taken to replace the obsolete technology of 1970's with the new IEP -Intercity Express program which has been designed and structured to replace the HST's which are becoming increasingly unreliable, in meeting with the expectations of the people in design and performance and speed. The analysis of the experts has been confirmed in which they agree that HST's need replacement by 2015. The comparative study of the "train systems in diverse countries like Japan, Spain, Germany, France and Taiwan have all found that introduction of high-speed rail cuts the number of air journeys on a given corridor and provides a massive boost to business and leisure travel." (http://www.railway-technology.com/features/feature1217/).
The Department for Transport has proposed and initiated the adoption of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP) which has been recognized as one of Britain's most significant investment in rolling stock for over thirty years and most innovative design endeavour for public transportation. Intercity Express will determine the flagship of the next generation of intercity trains which will be stretched across with the network from 2014 and can sustain for another thirty years in technological and infrastructural competition across the globe. The department of Transport is prepared to address the pressing need for change with innovation and organized planning. The DfT is expecting to commission between 500 and 2000 new vehicles, with deployment subject to costs and value. The objectives of the Intercity Express programme are to:
Optimise value for money, taking a long-term whole-system approach
Improve passenger capacity and make best use of available route capacity
Ensure flexibility of train deployment to cater for future change in use, demand, power and environmental requirements
Deliver a consistent service in terms of the availability and reliability of new trains
Provide for the safety and security of passengers and railway employees
Deliver an environmentally sustainable solution in terms of improved energy efficiency and emissions, and more sustainable construction and maintenance compared to existing High Speed Trains meet customer requirements in terms of the facilities and environment provided for