Four locations have been shortlisted to become the home of the National College for High Speed Rail, which will provide training for High Speed 2 engineers.
Birmingham, Derby, Doncaster and Manchester have been shortlisted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to further develop their bids to be home to the new engineering college.
Crossrail chairman and chair of the National Skills Academy for Railway Engineering Terry Morgan was appointed to oversee the selection of the shortlist and will be involved in the final phase of the selection process.
The college will have a hub in one of the four shortlisted cities, as well as facilities in other towns and cities to provide training for HS2 engineers.
The first phase of the £42.6bn HS2 project will connect London to Birmingham, with Derby, Doncaster and Manchester either on or near the proposed second phase of the route connecting Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds.
Bids were assessed against a range of criteria, including the size and availability of a suitable site, accessibility and the potential to develop strong links with employers and providers already operating in the sector.
Mr Morgan said: “Engineering skills are vital to the rail industry and I am hugely excited to be given the opportunity to help shape the design and development of the new college.
“We need to ensure the college can deliver the top-class training and qualifications needed, both for high-speed rail and other future infrastructure projects across the country.”
He added: “I came from a vocational background and I think the High Speed Rail College is a fantastic opportunity to inspire a new generation of motivated young people to follow this pathway.”
Representatives from Birmingham, Derby, Doncaster and Manchester have been invited to present their final proposals in late June, before a final decision is made in July.
The High Speed Rail College will be the first specialist national college to be developed, with plans to create additional facilities for the nuclear, coding and energy industries.
Transport minister Baroness Kramer added: “HS2 is a vital part of our long-term economic plan, providing and safeguarding tens of thousands of jobs.
“The college will equip the engineers of the future with the skills they need to secure these jobs and similar ones in the UK and across the globe.”