Firms have just over five weeks to express interest in route linking Birmingham and Crewe

HS2 has fired the starting gun on the search for a design and delivery partner for the railway’s next leg.

Firms have until 23 July to express interest in the £500m contract for phase 2a of the line from Birmingham to Crewe.

HS2_200113_Interchange station visuals_200113 Low Axo

Source: HS2 Ltd

Phase 2a of the railway will branch off from Solihull Interchange, which is currently out to tender

A maximum of four firms will be shortlisted for the job, which is expected to last ten years.

In a contract notice, the £100bn project said the successful partner would manage and coordinate the design and construction of the next phase until completion.

It added that it will “actively promote sustainable procurement throughout its supply chain and welcomes applications from economic operators committed to the principles of reducing, reusing and recycling resources and to the practices of buying responsibly”.

The announcement of the contract follows the launch earlier this month of the race for the £370m Solihull Interchange scheme, where the phase 2a line will branch off.

Firms have until 5 July to express interest in the construction of the Arup-designed station, the last of four new stations on the line’s first phase from London to Birmingham. 

A Balfour Beatty/Vinci team is building Old Oak Common in west London while a Mace/Dragados pairing will build both Curzon Street in Birmingham and Euston in central London.

Firms set to run the rule over the Solihull job include Sir Robert McAlpine while Laing O’Rourke, which missed out on Curzon Street, and the Bam/Ferrovial team, that was overlooked for both Curzon Street and Euston, are also likely to throw their hats into the ring.

The station will include an automated people mover, which will link to the NEC, Birmingham International Station and Birmingham Airport, and carry up to 2,100 passengers an hour in each direction, with a service every three minutes along a 2.3km route.