The paper presents a research and design of a high speed vacuum switch whose actuator consists of an electromagnetic repulsion driving unit (ERDU) and an permanent magnet force holding unit (PMFHU). A 2D finite element model of ERDU is established. The discharging current waveform, the repulsion force waveform and the effect of different distance between the driving coil and the metal plate on force are analyzed based on this model. Three types of PMFHU are proposed. And those holding force curves are acquired by 3D static magnetic analysis and compared with the measured data from the PMFHU prototypes. At last, the mechanical characteristics of the high speed switch prototypes assembled with three types of PMFHU are tested. The results show that the properties of Model 2 meets the requirements of high speed repulsion actuator most.