HS2 launches £1.5bn track and overhead catenary contract

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A potential HS2 train design. Photo: HS2.
A potential HS2 train design. Photo: HS2.

HS2 has launched the search for a contractor to deliver the high-speed line’s track and overhead catenary systems, a package which is valued at around £1.55 billion (∼€1.7 billion).

HS2 said that it is also beginning the search for firms to deliver the tunnel and lineside mechanical and electrical and tunnel ventilation work – worth circa £330 million (∼€374 million) – at the same time.

Both works contracts cover the section between London and Birmingham (Phase One) and Birmingham to Crewe (Phase 2A).

HS2 CEO Mark Thurston said that it is looking for smart and cost-effective solutions.


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He added: “These two essential contracts are fundamental to HS2 operating safely, reliably and efficiently for the millions of people who will use and come to depend on it.”

A shortlist of organisations is expected this summer with invitations to tender to be issued the following autumn. Contracts are set to be awarded at the end of 2019.

The successful bidder for the track and overhead catenary system package will oversee HS2’s construction – including 180 miles of track – and its dynamic testing,  linking the whole system and trains before handing it over to the operator for the testing phase.

The contract also includes construction work within stations and in tunnels, including the provision of engineering trains to link worksites along the route as well as design integration and co-ordination with other contractors.

The second contract to be launched covers the design, installation, testing and commissioning of HS2’s safety equipment, including: tunnel ventilation fans; lighting; handrails; fire safety equipment and tunnel alarm systems.


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