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  • You are here:HS2

HS2 bosses outline major contracts and priorities for phase one

High Speed 2 has revised the value of its first phase construction packages following feedback from UK construction firms, with more than £1bn added to the value of surface route works deals.

The first phase cost estimate for the route from London to Birmingham is £15.6bn.

Design works are under way, procurement of construction contracts will begin next year and the first major construction contracts are set to be awarded following Royal Assent in 2016.

At its supply chain conference in London last week, HS2 set out the values of its works packages for phase one, some of which have changed considerably since being first published last year.

The packages are divided into six categories: design & services, tunnels, surface route, stations, railway systems and rolling stock.

First phase works values

  • Design & services: £0.4bn
  • Tunnels: £3bn
  • Surface route: £3.8bn
  • Stations: £2.9bn
  • Railway systems: £1.7bn
  • Rolling stock (for phase one and two): £7.5bn


In November 2013, the value of works for the surface route was quoted by HS2 at £2.7bn, but this has now increased to £3.8bn. Similarly, the value for stations has grown from £2.7bn to £2.9bn.

A HS2 spokesman said this did not reflect an increase in costs to phase one, saying that “categories have been changed and repackaged to reflect industry feedback and our own ongoing design refinements”.

The surface route package now includes enabling works and the Calvert Infrastructure Maintenance Depot, contributing to an increase in the value of the works.

For tunnels and surface rail, the total works will be split into five contracts, worth between £0.5bn and £1bn each. Invitations to tender for these contracts will begin in early 2016.

In total, HS2 will be looking for 15 tier one contractors to fulfil all of its major contracts.

The company will also set out benchmarks for its supply chain, and commercial director Beth West said the company will “reprocure if targets, such as costs, are not met”.

Speaking to Construction News, Ms West highlighted that there will be “specific, measureable benchmarks when it comes to choosing bids”, including contractors ability to use high-level BIM and offsite modular assembly, both of which would be important elements of the design process.

Ms West said she wanted “real collaboration” between companies to deliver the best possible quality and value for HS2.

“We’ve highlighted that we want at least 60 per cent of contract opportunities in the supply chain for phase one fulfilled by SMEs, and this could well increase in phase two.

“Obviously there will be competitive tension, and we don’t want to force marriages, but we want everyone to innovate and succeed together.”

Speaking at the supply chain conference, HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby said the company was “ready to begin procurement in 2015”.

Mr Kirby also set out what HS2 would want from its contractors and what firms needed to be capable of doing to win work on the project.

He highlighted safety, describing it as “HS2’s strongest value” and that “unsafe companies will not be tolerated on HS2”.

Companies also needed to be “ambitious, innovative and creative” to win work, he added.

HS2 will look to build on best practice initiatives used by Network Rail, Crossrail and the Olympic projects, and projects will spend longer in the design phase to make HS2 “better, faster and cheaper than any other high-speed rail project”, according to Mr Kirby.

The first major project to get under way will be ground investigation in early 2015, which is currently out to tender.

HS2 chairman Sir David Higgins is expected to publish a report on the northern phase of the high-speed rail link next week.

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