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HS2 announces shortlist for phase 2 consultant contracts worth £520m

HS2 Ltd has announced the shortlists for two new contracts for phase 2 of the high-speed rail project.

The first contract, worth £350m, is for civils design and environmental services for the sections of the route from Crewe to Manchester and from Birmingham to Leeds via Sheffield and the East Midlands.

Three joint ventures are on the shortlist: Aecom, Capita and Ineco; Mott MacDonald and WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff; and Atkins and Arcadis – as well as sole bidder Arup.

Aecom is also part of a partnership bidding for HS2’s phase 1 civil enabling works contracts.

Simon Kirby, chief executive of HS2, said: “Phase 2 will significantly increase capacity, enhance connectivity and improve journeys for millions of people travelling between London, the Midlands and the major cities of the North.

“HS2 will be Britain’s largest infrastructure development, and has the potential to change the way the UK designs and builds projects of national significance.

“That’s why it’s so important that we get the right team on board to help us develop the design and environmental assessment that supports obtaining the hybrid bill powers.

“This process needs to start now so that we are able to open all the way to Manchester and Leeds on time.”

The second contract, worth £170m, is for a development partner to support the development and submission of the HS2 phase 2 Hybrid Bill in 2019.

Three companies are shortlisted: CH2M, Bechtel and a joint venture between Mace and Turner & Townsend.

HS2 has already awarded a 10-year phase 1 engineering contract, worth between £250m and £350m, to a partnership consisting of Atkins, CH2M and SENER.

The project has also shortlisted nine partnerships for its civil engineering contracts, which are worth up to £11.8bn.

The HS2 phase 1 Hybrid Bill is currently passing through the House of Lords. However, the project has faced warnings recently that it is behind schedule and could be disrupted by the UK’s vote to leave the EU, as well as criticism for its community engagement.

(Image c. HS2 Ltd)

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John Burns   23/08/2016 at 17:12

As there is to be cooperation between HS3 and HS2 in design, these contracts will be cancelled. How can these people give out contracts when the design is not nailed down yet? I doubt if HS2 ever gets north of the Crewe Hub on the western leg. It doe not make economic sense to take it further than Crewe As new 140mph Hitachi trains can do London to Leeds about 12 minutes slower on the existing ECML compared to HS2, this leg should be the first to be dropped. What are HS2 Ltd playing at? Wasting public money for sure.

Chris   23/08/2016 at 22:29

Why on earth would the contracts be cancelled John? Work to incorporate HS3 will feed into the work they undertake, there's a long way to go before the details of phase 2 are firmed up.

John Burns   24/08/2016 at 11:44

From what I understand HS2 Ltd is still planning to the existing 'Y' design. This is just wasting money as they have been informed that they will have to cooperate with with HS3, Northern Powerhouse Rail, where HS2 meets HS3. This could be a major re-design in West Yorkshire and west of the Pennines. It is foolish what they are doing. Cancelling a contract because design has changed, may also have penalty clauses. It is just poor management. Some responsible politicians must seize on this and stop HS2 Ltd from going further until the mergers with HS3 come about. It is just wasting taxpayers money.

John Burns   24/08/2016 at 16:21

Look a the joke of getting HS2 into Manchester on the existing plan. The Manchester train runs under a Crewe station via tunnel by-passing the station. Then nearing Manchester it does an "S" bend around Tatton, reducing the "high-speed" train to very slow speeds (so what is the use of all this?). It then has a high-speed station near Manchester airport requiring bus to terminal (which will be the most unused station in the UK), then runs through a 7.5 mile 'branch' tunnel to Piccadilly station, a station facing the wrong way. The branch tunnel will be little used, so poor value for money. TfN want a new essential HS3 line from Liverpool to Manchester as this will alleviate lines for freight out of the Port of Liverpool. To get through Manchester going via Manchester Victoria is by far the best route. The 7.5 mile branch tunnel could be a well used west to east HS3 tunnel under Manchester Victoria emerging at the eastern suburbs to run into another base tunnel under the Pennines. HS2 running north across the west to east HS3 between Liverpool and Manchester can branch in and serve both cities. This is all obvious and logical and indicates the level of redesign of HS2 that is needed when branching into HS3. The current design from Crewe and above into Manchester is nothing short of an expensive joke, irrespective of HS3. Having HS2 to a high-speed hub at Crewe and then running on the existing classic line, after upgrades, to Manchester is only about 12 minutes slower than running through a gold plated 7.5 mile HS2 branch tunnel.

John Burns   25/08/2016 at 09:44

HS2 Ltd are still at it! They have shortlisted consultants to bid for two professional services deals on Phase 2 for civil and environmental design of the legs between Crewe and Manchester, and Birmingham and Leeds. A contract worth £130m-£170m will be awarded to provide support to HS2 to enable a hybrid Bill to be prepared for these sections of the network. Until at least there is a broadbrush design of HS2 and HS3, no contracts should, be awarded.

Chris M   03/09/2016 at 02:43

The time penalty for not providing direct HS2 tracks to Manchester would be well over 20 minutes, not 12 as claimed by 'John Burns' - a well known anti HS2 campaigner / troll with a tenuous grip on reality and an amazing inability to get his facts right before spouting off. He spams letter pages like this and forums with his infantile and ridiculous theories. Those dedicated HS2 rails from Crewe to Manchester are vital: they will enable 400m trains to cover the distance in just 15 minutes while carrying well over 1000 people. Reliability and consistent running will be greatly improved. In turn a number of train paths will be freed up on existing tracks between Stockport and Piccadilly, allowing an increase in local or regional train frequencies.

John Burns   06/09/2016 at 23:34

@Chris M, an ad hom attack. Means you have lost the argument. The 250mph HS2 track into Manchester does an S bend around Tatton, meaning the trains have to run at about 100mph or less, and then into a 7.5 mile gold plated 'branch' tunnel. At the moment Manchester has its own line 'directly' from Crewe into the city. Uprate this line and the difference is about 12 minutes in time. Yes, about 12 minutes. So why are we spending a fortune for a rail link into a third tier city? Manchester is no world city like London or a second tier city like Munich or Barcelona. Yes, there is no need for a HS2 network at all. No need. Many top rail experts all echo what I say.

John Burns   07/09/2016 at 00:04

High-speed rail is unnecessary as new trains can reach 186mph on existing tracks. Capacity issues are only on the WCML south of MK. The WCML has twice the traffic of the ECML. North of MK the WCML only has 'bottlenecks'. The history of inter-city in the UK. In the early 1960s trains to major cities from London were spread over 4 mainlines: - Liverpool/Glasgow - WCML - Leeds/Newcastle - ECML - Sheffield/Manchester- MML - Birmingham/Wolverhampton - Chiltern Line In the 60s the WCML was electrified with faster trains. The Manchester, Birmingham and Wolverhampton trains were moved to the WCML, which serves five cities, six inc' Edinburgh. The rest of the mainlines were straighter and lightly used. The population and expanded and the WCML became heavily loaded. The capacity south of MK on the WCML can be alleviated by diverting trains back to their original lines when updated and electrified. The ECML is now electrified with the MML electrified from London to Bedford. The shorter Chiltern Line is still diesel run. Uprating the 4 mainlines by electrification and removing bottlenecks will solve capacity issues. The Chiltern Line will benefit by improved local and regional services, so knock-on benefits. Opening old and building new lines, which are needed for local & regional use, will take trains off the mainlines creating four expressways. Local and regional lines will be more accepted as they are used by the populations they run though daily, so little aggressive resistance as HS2 as seen. They can see the immediate benefits to themselves. Take out the bottlenecks on the WCML, run the trains at as fast as can be and journey time from London to Manchester compared to full HS2 is about 15 minutes slower. As trains are replaced over the decades, newer faster up to 186mph train can be introduced. The new 140mph Hitachi trains, they have 160mph models, can make London to Leeds on the ECML about 12 minutes slower than the planned HS2. There is no need to build a high-speed rail line in the UK. Many rail experts have constantly emphasised this point. All that is needs is: - Spread the inter-city services over the four mainlines, Back to their original early 1960s lines. - Electrify all the mainlines (which is overdue). - Remove bottlenecks from the mainlines. - Use state of the art fast trains reaching up to 186mph in some tilting models. - Build HS3. A full direct and straight HS3 adds a new dynamic, giving capacity release, cascading throughout the network. HS3 will intersect three mainlines. The fast 140-180mph trains means Manchester can be accessed via the shorter MML and then west under the Pennines via HS3. The WCML has more capacity, which is important giving the expansion of the Port of Liverpool. Fast up to 186mph trains to Liverpool be on the WCML and then head west on the HS3. Scottish trains then run directly up the WCML. HS3 adds redundancy

John Burns   07/09/2016 at 00:13

@Chris M, if between Stockport and Piccadilly needs an increase in local or regional train frequencies, then that should be tackled locally (maybe by new lines, tunnels or whatever) , not by running a needless, super-expensive high-speed track running through Cheshire countryside, complete with a 7.5 mile tunnel, that runs back to Crewe. There are no bottleneck or problems between Stockport and Piccadilly at the moment. If HS3 is built running west to east through Victoria, then HS2 can use it to access Manchester. Victoria can the HS2/London train station. Many local lines can be diverted to Piccadilly via the Ordsall Cord.

Chris M   07/09/2016 at 17:27

Blah Blah blah John Burns. How you perceive 'facts' and how things really happen are worlds apart. You can cut and paste a million meaningless words in your relentless spamming of numerous websites to attack the reason to build HS2. However in less than six months the legislation for phase 1 will become law because our MPs have shown overwhelmingly that they believe it is vital. And then the UK will be fully committed to building something that in truth should have been started 20 years ago. Trying to squeeze more and more trains onto twisty Victorian era tracks is insanity - it would be rather like the UK refusing to build motorways in the 1950s/1960s and just upgrading the A roads a little bit. We needed to invest in modern road infrastructure then and now in 2016 we need to invest in modern rail infrastructure to realise our economic potential. The journey time cuts and huge increase in seats between major cities will make business and pleasure travel far easier for future generations. I love the idea that Stockport to Piccadilly is a quiet railway line and that express trains should be made to trundle along the 25mph Ordsall Curve. I would expect to hear comments like that from a clown with a big red nose!

John Burns   07/09/2016 at 23:51

Chri M, it is best you read and understand what I wrote, backed up by many rail experts, Wolmar for one, rather than what you think I wrote. You babble indicates you never. Just about every economist who has looked into rail says HS3 is more important and a far greater bang for buck than HS2. Modern fast trains have negated the need for dedicated new high-speed track. Uprating the existing mainlines, which go where people want to go is all that is needed, along with a programme to improve local and regional rail (where the real need is) to get traffic off the mainlines. Ad hom attacks are proof you have no case. HS2 may go ahead by a confused government that is also pushing ahead with Brexit as well.

John Burns   07/09/2016 at 23:52

The problem with HS2 is that it has become a train spotters wet dream.

John Burns   08/09/2016 at 00:03

Alstrom are building 300km/hr (186mph) tilting trains for Amtrack in the USA which are to use existing track. These will be in use in the next few years. The likes of this type of new train technology, reaching anything from 140mph to 186mpg, negates the need to build new dedicated high-speed track and lines in the UK. Uprate and remove bottlenecks on the WCML, Chiltern, MML and ECML. Have the cities served back on their original early 1960s lines, not with many piled onto the WCML. Then we solve capacity and speed and trains go into cities at the existing stations where the interchanges are.

John Burns   08/09/2016 at 00:57

The Advanced Passenger Train in the 1980s was designed to travel at 155mph on existing track. Say it averages 150mph to travel 200 miles. That is London to Manchester or Liverpool. The journey would take 1 hr 20 mins. That is NOT slow. That is with 30 years old technology on existing track. The WCML could average 160mph with the bottlenecks removed, 1hr 15m mins. On the ECML from London to Leeds which is around 170 miles, a journey time of just over 1hr is easily obtained.

Chris M   08/09/2016 at 01:21

Alstrom? Lol! Can you not even get the basics right? As the technical press has made clear, the new ALSTOM trains for the US NW Corridor will be capable of 186mph, but won't be doing anything like that speed in service unless the Americans pull their fingers out and build new HS2 style dedicated alignments. The current ACELA express trains only average 79mph between New York and Washington - we were doing better than that in 1967 with 100mph limited trains. Bottlenecks? On the WCML south of Rugby there are NO bottlenecks on the fast lines - quite simply in peak hours Network Rail has stated the line is effectively full up and none of your clueless babble about faster trains changes that basic fact. The only solution is to build an alternative line - and as we know from the WCML upgrade it makes no sense to build it next to a busy operating railway. HS2 will happen despite the efforts of Luddites like yourself simply because there is no other way to achieve that kind of capacity step-up and to relieve all the major main lines from London to the north. The Atkins consultants study in 2009 showed that trying to upgrade the existing lines you mentioned was mainly very poor value for money - even the one option that gave a slightly positive return would only give modest capacity gains on the WCML. On current growth rates that capacity will be exhausted in just three or four years (from the 2009 baseline) - at which point a new line would be needed anyway. And finally - Christian Wolmar is not actually any kind of expert on railways, with no qualifications in the subject.,

John Burns   08/09/2016 at 09:15

It is best you read what I wrote and get the points I made rather than what you want to 'think' I made. We have minor capacity issues on one section of line, which 'may' get worse in time, and we would like more speed from our inter-city trains. They are the points facing the UKs rail network. We have fast and slow trains on the mainlines which causes a problem. So HMG decides to adopt a flawed design from a private outfit called Greenguage. This builds a new highly expensive high-speed expressway network in 'Y' shape, separating then fast trains from the slow trains. What I, and many other train experts, propose is the exact opposite. That is take the slow local & regional trains off the four mainline expressways and remove the bottlenecks. By taking the approach I propose, it is best to quad track some a parts of the mainlines, open old lines, build new lines to points where the lines are 'needed'. Then we end up with THREE mainline dedicated expressways, and one mixed slow & fast, the Chiltern Line. The great need is in local & regional rail. We then kill two birds with one stone. It is quite simple.

John Burns   08/09/2016 at 14:10

"The High Speed 2 rail project will cost up to nine times more than similar tracks in France and should be scrapped, the prime minister has been told." "It would be “economically irresponsible” to press ahead with the project because the eventual costs could rise to £80 billion, according to an analysis by the Adam Smith Institute, a free-market think tank."

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