Contracts cover lines running through London, Birmingham and Crewe


HS2 has started its search for rail systems track and M&E contractors to deliver works on lines between London, Birmingham and Crewe.

Successful bidders will deliver the track and overhead catenary system works and the tunnel and lineside M&E and tunnel ventilation works, between London to Birmingham, and Birmingham to Crewe.

The £1.55bn track and overhead catenary system (OCS) package will link the whole system and trains before it is handed over to the operator for the line’s trial running phase.

Aspects covered include its overhead catenary ‘power’ system from which the trains will draw power, and 180 miles of track along which they will travel at speeds of up to 225mph.

The contract also incorporates construction work within stations and in tunnels, as well as design integration and coordination with other railway systems, civil engineering and station construction contractors.

The second £330m contract package is for tunnel and lineside M&E and tunnel ventilation works. This covers the design, installation, testing and commissioning of HS2 safety equipment including tunnel ventilation fans, lighting, handrails, fire safety equipment and tunnel alarm systems.

This announcement marks the release of the pre-qualification questionnaire before the full tendering process begins, with a group of contractors chosen at a later date.

Mark Thurston, chief executive of HS2, said: “We’re looking for the smartest, most cost effective solutions that the industry has to offer through these contracts.”

In July, the government revealed the winners of the contracts for the design and construction preparation works for the first phase of HS2.

The second stage of the works – the actual construction – is expected to start in 2019, with inaugural train services expected to start in 2026.

The tender shortlist for the first phase of the main civil engineering works contracts, comprising bridges, tunnels, embankments and viaducts, was put out in March of last year.