What is HS2?
High Speed 2 (HS2) is a planned high-speed railway service line currently in development. The line takes the form of a ‘Y’, with London at the bottom of the ‘Y’, Birmingham at the centre, Leeds in the top right and Manchester in the top left. A map of the route can be found here. The line will provide extra capacity to accommodate some of the 30 million train travellers who commute across the UK. Linking over 25 destinations, trains will serve existing city centre stations in places like Glasgow and Liverpool, as well as brand new purpose-built stations in Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, and the East Midlands. HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Mark Thurston says that the works will ‘act as a catalyst for growth across the UK.’ First services are planned to commence in 2026.
The scope of works
The project has been split into phases. Work on the route between London to the West Midlands (Phase 1) began in 2017, and HS2 has opened prequalification this week for two major mechanical and engineering contracts to work along the route from London to Crewe.
The entire contract package is worth over £1.55bn and will require contractors to work at each stage of the track development. The first contract is worth £1.55bn and will manage and test the route’s track and overhead catenary system (OCS) and the 290km of rail. This contract will also require construction throughout stations, tunnels and along links between worksites along the route. The second contract is worth £330m and is for tunnel and lineside mechanical and electrical and tunnel ventilation works. This side of the works will cover the design, installation, testing and comissioning of HS2 safety equipment, such as lighting, fire safety equipment, tunnel alarm systems.
How will it be assessed?
Chief Executive Mark Thurston has revealed that HS2 are ‘looking for the smartest, most cost-effective solutions that the industry has to offer through these contracts.’ Access to the tender document is restricted, but like any competitive tender, HS2 is likely to be asking tenderers to:
- Demonstrate how their proposal will align to, and help realise, HS2’s strategic aims and vision
- Provide confidence that health and safety, environmental, sustainability and other relevant areas will be managed compliantly and professionally, with a view to minimising perceived risk
- Demonstrate their experience and expertise relevant to the project
- Show their commitment to quality – not just in terms of meeting the core specification, but more so in being innovative and delivering enhanced value for money
- Price competitively, again focusing on a proposal that will deliver the best value for money for HS2.
How can I apply?
If you require more information on this prequalification or would like to find out more about future work available on the project, you can contact HS2 Procurement via telephone 02079446392 or by email HS2enquiries@hs2.org.uk.