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UK’s HS2 Gets a Move On

HS2 has announced its shortlist of nine companies in the running to bid for the first stages of HS2 work. These civil engineering projects are worth £12billion and this is just the start.

On the same day their Chief Executive, Simon Kirby commented,"Today’s announcements are a major milestone for the project. Over the next 10 years HS2 will help create tens of thousands of job opportunities, build specialist skills and expertise across the country and create at least 2,000 new apprenticeships."

This is the first stage of the HS2 covering London to Crewe, but there will be more enabling work necessary for the stretch from Birmingham to Crewe - followed by Stage Two of the development with links from Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds.

Work on the first stage is likely to start in 2017 once the bids are accepted and confirmed.

The Named Companies

The companies named as bidders are:

  • Align Joint Venture (Bouygues, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
  • ASL (Acciona Infraestructuras, John Sisk & Son, Lagan)
  • BBV (Balfour Beatty, VINCI BeMo)
  • Catalyst (Bechtel)
  • CEK (Carillion, Eiffage, Kier)
  • Fusion (Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman)
  • LFM (Laing O’Rourke, FCC Construccion, J. Murphy and Sons Limited
  • Momentum Infrastructure (Dragados, HOCHTIEF, GallifordTry)
  • SCS (Skanska, Costain, STRABAG)

These companies have all been allotted specific projects to bid for:

  • Lot S1 - Euston Tunnels and Approaches worth £600-£900 million
  • Lot S2 - Northolt Tunnels worth £850 million to £1.4billion
  • Lot C1 - Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct at £800 m£1.3billion
  • Lot C2 - North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley at £800 million £1.3 billion
  • Lot C3 - Brackley to Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel South Portal worth £600 - £900 million
  • Lot N1 - Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction/Birmingham Spur for £900 million to £1.5 billion

Moving Forward

The government comments that it will be those firms which 'deliver the best results in terms of value and efficiency' that will then be eligible to bid for work on an additional 40 miles between Birmingham and Crewe, due to open in 2027.

Also announced are the opportunities for engineering design work for Phase 2 of HS2 which includes the Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds links. The applicants' shortlist is expected to be announced this summer before the formal route decision in the autumn.

The opportunities don't stop here. More possibilities will be available for stations and railway systems over the course of the next year. The first phase of the project is forecast to create 14,600 construction jobs and quality apprenticeships. The majority of these will be in civil engineering.

Good News in Abundance

This is all good news for the UK construction industry and civil engineers in particular. In the first instance there is a good deal of preparation work for the start of construction including utility diversions.

With the project set to run for at least 10 years until the line is up and running, the job market should be rife with opportunities. If this is your area of expertise and interest, please make sure that you submit your CV to us so that you don't miss out on any of these opportunities.



Steve Thomas
Director - Hong Kong & UK Construction Recruitment Specialist

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