Winner on Solihull deal due next year

Contractors are officially on notice for the last major station job on the first phase of HS2 with the railway firing the starting gun on the Interchange scheme at Solihull.

Expressions of interest are officially open, with firms given until 5 July to register their interest in the £370m project.

HS2_200113_Interchange station visuals_200113 Low Axo

Source: HS2 Ltd

Designed by Arup, the station will include a people mover

Interchange is the fourth and final station of the first phase of the line to come up for grabs with a Balfour Beatty/Vinci team building Old Oak Common in west London while a Mace/Dragados pairing will build both Curzon Street in Birmingham and Euston in central London.

The Mace team is unlikely to bid for the Interchange deal which has been designed by Arup and was given the green light last summer.

But firms set to run the rule over the 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.

Like it did with Curzon Street HS2 has said it will put together a framework of losing bidders to safeguard itself from having to shell out on possible retendering costs.

At the time Building reported that HS2 wanted the framework to be an alternative should it be unable to reach agreement with its preferred contractor at the end of the first stage. “This will mean they don’t have to go back to the market and start all over again,” a source said.

A shortlist of three or four bidders is expected to be announced in late September.

A contractor is expected to be appointed next year, with construction planned to start in 2024.