Washwood Heath job will also double up as railway’s network control centre

Plans for a £275m contract to build HS2’s nerve centre in Birmingham have been given the green light by the city council.

The 30ha site at Washwood Heath will serve as both the railway’s network control centre and its rolling stock maintenance depot once the line opens.

The depot will include a rolling stock maintenance building, carriage wash, automatic vehicle inspection building and 14 sidings where trains can be stored overnight.


Designed by local architect Glenn Howells, the centre is expected to employ more than 550 people

Also on the same site will be the Network Integrated Control Centre, the centre of the network’s signalling and control systems as well as office buildings for cleaners and drivers.

In total, over 550 jobs are expected to be based across both the depot and control centre. Architect on the scheme is Birmingham practice Glenn Howells.

Andrew Cubitt, HS2 Ltd procurement and supply chain director, said the site will be “at the heart” of HS2’s operations.

The Washwood Heath site was formerly home to the Metro-Cammell railway works, which closed in 2004.

Washwood Heath 2

The Washwood Heath site was cleared by a Laing O’Rourke and Murphy team

A team from HS2’s enabling works contractor LM, a pairing of Laing O’Rourke and Murphy, completed the demolition of the buildings on the site in 2020.

Once operational, Phase 1 and 2a of HS2 will have a fleet of at least 54 trains which will be based at Washwood Heath.

Three firms are expected to find out later this year who was the race to build the depot. Turkish contractor Gülermak is the surprise name on a three-strong shortlist for the job and is up against a pairing of Vinci and Keltbray and a team featuring VolkerFitzpatrick and VolkerRail.

Gülermak, which was set up more than 60 years ago and is headquartered in Ankara, is a specialist in rail transport but has previously not thought to have made the shortlist for such a high-profile scheme in the UK before.