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Details and deadline of seven HS2 work packages revealed

Bidders for seven HS2 phase 1 engineering contracts have until 19 November to submit a proposal for a share of the work.

The seven packages, with a combined value of up to £11.85bn, are split into a South, Central and North geographical basis and are divided into seven lots, as reported by RTM last month.

Each of these packages will be the subject of an individual contract for which interested tenderers can apply. Each contract constitutes a separate ‘lot’ under this process.

Tenderers may apply for one or more of these lots, but HS2 Ltd “does not intend to allow” any bidder to tender for more than four lots. It will also not award any more than two lots to one supplier, other than in “limited circumstances” described in the invitation to tender (ITT).

Since there are seven lots in total, there is likely to be a minimum of four tenderers awarded for the deals.

The bidding process for the main engineering works was launched late in September during chancellor George Osborne’s visit to China.

Details of each lot

The seven lots are as follows:

  • Lot 1: Refers to the Euston tunnels and approaches, including tunnels between Old Oak Common and Euston station, the Old Oak Common station box and the Euston station approaches. This is estimated to cost £600m to £900m based on 2015 prices. This lot will extend from (and include) Hampstead Road bridge in Euston to the eastern headwall at the Old Oak Common station box – a stretch of around 8.2km. The railway in the Euston approaches is routed from Euston high speed station platforms through dive under structures, requiring sequential demolition and reconstruction of highways bridges and temporary utility bridges, all close to and interfacing with the existing Network Rail infrastructure. The Euston tunnels are a 7.3km stretch from the Euston portal at Parkway/Delancey Street, through Camden and Brent with vent shafts located at Adelaide Road, Alexandria Place and Salusbury Road. A 1km logistics tunnel (shield driven) is routed from the eastern end of the Old Oak Common station box to the Atlas Road compound and includes two temporary shafts along the route. The scope also includes Atlas Road tunnel lining and logistics compound, Willesden Euroterminal Railhead and temporary bridges linking the two.
  • Lot 2: Focuses on Northolt tunnels, including the Old Oak Common tunnel, Northolt tunnel, Victoria Road crossover box and the Northolt tunnel west portal to Harvill Road. This will cost between £850m and £1.4bn. This lot lies between the western headwall of Old Oak Common Station at approximately 9.5km, and the western side of Harvil Road at approximately 25.8km. The scope includes the Victoria Road crossover box, West Ruislip portal, four ventilation shafts, 13,4km of twin bored tunnels, 0.32km of twin SCL tunnels and two shafts at Old Oak Common. The scope also include major bridge works at Harvil Road, West Ruislip railhead, earthworks at Copthall and Brackenbury, Copthall retained structure, miscellaneous retaining walls and bridges, large areas of sustainable placement, as well as associated utility diversions, demolitions, protective and ground treatment works.
  • Lot 3: Spans the Chiltern tunnel and Colne Valley viaduct, including the Colne viaduct, the Tile House Chiltern portal, the Chiltern south portal and the Chiltern tunnel. This is valued at between £800m and £1.3bn. It extends in a north-westerly direction from Harvil Road, North of Ickenham through to the North portal of the Chiltern tunnels near South Heath. The railway passes through Hillingdon in Greater London, Three Rivers District in Hertfordshire County, and South Bucks District and Chiltern District in Buckinghamshire County. The 22km trace is routed on the 3.4km-long Colne Valley Viaduct, embankments, through cuttings and the 15.8km long Chiltern Tunnel.
  • Lot 4: Relates to the north portal Chiltern tunnels to Brackley, including surface route and the Calvert Maintenance Depot. This is worth between £800m and £1.3bn. It extends from the North Portal of the Chiltern tunnels near South Heath, to the Northern end of the Turweston cutting, near Brackley. Passing through Bucks County, Chiltern District, Wycombe District, Aylesbury Vale, Oxford County, Cherwell District, Northants County and South Northants District Councils, the 47.6km trace is routed on viaducts and embankments, and through cuttings.
    The route includes for a maintenance depot at Calvert and a green tunnel at Wendover.
  • Lot 5: Includes Brackley to the south portal of Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel, scoping the surface route. This should cost between £600m and £900m. It extends from the northern end of the Turweston cutting near Brackley, to the south end of Mill Pond embankment, near Southam. Passing through Northants, South Northants, Warwickshire County Council and Stratford on Avon District Councils, the 30.1km trace is routed on viaducts and embankments, and through cuttings. Where it passes close to the villages of Greatworth and Chipping Warden, the line is in Green tunnels.
  • Lot 6: Extends from the Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel to the Delta junction and Birmingham spur, including the Washwood Heath Control Centre. It is valued at between £900m and £1.5bn. It includes the line of route from the south end of Mill Pond embankment, 30km north to Birmingham Interchange Station and from Water Orton, 9.5km west, terminating at Curzon Street Station. The Mill Pond embankment to the Interchange Station section exits a twin bored tunnel and passes through undulating countryside requiring numerous cuttings, embankments, viaducts and highway diversions. The Birmingham Spur from Water Orton through to the New Curzon Street Station passes through a nature reserve, into tunnel in a semi-residential/urban area before threading its way above ground through Birmingham's industrial area into the city centre. A rolling stock maintenance depot and HS2 control centre will be located at Washwood Heath at the west end of the 2.8km Bromford Tunnel.
  • Lot 7: Includes the Delta junction to the West Coast Main Line tie-in, including the main line, the north chord, Leeds spur and Birmingham spur. It is valued at between £800m and £1.3bn. It consists of approximately 50km of track in a mainly rural setting, starting at the Delta Junction located to the east of Birmingham heading northwards towards Lichfield to tie-in to the West Coast Main Line. The Delta Junction consists of complex viaducts crossing over the M6 and M42. The route to the north of the Delta Junction consists of embankments and cuttings with several viaducts crossing natural watercourses and canals. The Streethay cutting, east of Lichfield, is of significant length including crossings under the West Coast Main Line and A38. The lot also includes both the Leeds and Manchester Spurs and a 27-line temporary railhead at Kingsbury Road.

Construction works included in these phase 1 contracts include design services, enabling works, temporary works, construction works, tunnelling and spoil removal, ground stabilisation and treatment works, utilities diversions, structural engineering works, civil engineering works, access control and security services, and occupational health services. Other works and services necessary to deliver the first phase of the project may also obtain consent later on.

The framework agreement will last for eight years.

Framework agreement

As well as the seven contracts, HS2 Ltd will enter into a framework agreement with the bidders who are awarded the deals, which will have two components:

  • A facility to call-off a completion of work scope under a phase 1 contract, where the contractor’s employment under that phase 1 contract has been terminated;
  • Procurement of the route 50 miles north of Birmingham, also known as Route 50NB, which HS2 Ltd may carry out to extend the railway.

Main works civils for Route 50NB will be “substantially” of the same scope and nature as the phase 1 contracts, but in relation to the extension of the route beyond Birmingham. This option is subject to ministerial decisions taken later this year.

Main works for Route 50NB are valued at between £1.75bn and £3.25bn, and include a connection at Fradley Junction, the main line, and a connection to the West Coast Main Line.


There is a separate process underway in which HS2 is choosing between three shortlisted bidders to become its phase 1 engineering delivery partner: a JV of Atkins, CH2M and Sener; a JV of Bechtel and Jacobs; or WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff.


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