UK awards high speed rail design contracts Apr 2012
- Design contracts worth nearly £50 million for Phase 1 of the UK's High Speed 2 (HS2) rail line are awarded to Mott MacDonald, Atkins, the Capita Symonds-Inenco JV and Arup. The awards, announced by HS2 Ltd today (April 5, 2012), cover civil and structural design services under Lot 1.
Phase 1 includes 36km of tunnels
- Mott MacDonald is awarded the £13.2m London Metropolitan Area contract for the design of approximately 25km of new high speed rail line from the redeveloped Euston station through North West London. They will also work on the link with HS1 to the Channel Tunnel, and a new 14 platform interchange station at Old Oak Common.
- Atkins is awarded the £13.3 million Country South contract covering the design of approximately 91km of the route through Buckinghamshire, Northamptonshire and Oxfordshire, which includes the Colne Valley viaduct and the longest single tunnel alignment (13km) through the Chiltern Hills.
- The Capita Symonds-Ineco JV is awarded the £11.1 million Country North contract covering approximately 78km of high speed rail through Warwickshire and Staffordshire, and the connection to the West Coast Main Line.
- Arup is awarded the £11.4 million West Midland Metropolitan Area design contract for approximately 22km of the route including the Curzon Street Station complex; Birmingham Interchange Station; Washwood Heath Rolling Stock Maintenance Depot; and a people mover from the Interchange station to the NEC Arena and airport.
- The successful companies will prepare preliminary designs and work closely with HS2 Ltd, rail systems designers, environmentalists and land referencing companies. The designs will be used to inform the hybrid bill documents that are due to be submitted to Parliament by the end of 2013.
- Meanwhile, Doug Oakervee, a man with a well-earned reputation for taking mega-projects from blueprint to realisation, is appointed the new Chairman of HS2 Ltd, the organisation established to promote and develop the second high speed rail link in the UK.
New HS2 Chairman Doug Oakervee
- Oakervee will see the initial part of the project, to connect London and Birmingham, to and through its vital Parliament Approval phase. This follows the project's acceptance by the UK Government in January, together with a commitment for public funds to construct the line.
- Oakervee takes over from Sir Brian Briscoe who himself replaced Sir David Rowlands in 2010 and managed the project's fate from being barely an afterthought to being given the government-sponsored go-ahead by UK Secretary of State for Transport, Justine Greening in January. The stated objective is to introduce a hybrid bill to Parliament by October 2013, gain Royal Assent by 2015, start construction in 2017, and have the new 225km (140 mile) long dedicated high-speed line opened for service by 2026.
- The scale of the task is immense but undaunting for someone who has creditable experience in mega-project management. Oakervee was Executive Chairman of London's £15 billion Crossrail project at a time when that project was also going through its Parliamentary Approval process between 2005 and 2009. Before that he was Project Director for the construction of Hong Kong's new Chek Lap Kok Airport and all its land transport infrastructure connections. Oakervee, who is also a former President of the ICE, takes over his latest post this month (April 2012) on a reported three to five year contract.
- Following adoption of the project by the UK Coalition Government in January, and after a period of extensive public consultation and feasibility study, the task now is to refine and define the design and construction of the facility on its selected alignment.
- Passing through swathes of English countryside, the line has already attracted significant protests, despite major concessions ahead of the Government's confirmation of the project. These concessions included extra lengths of alignment in bored tunnels to protect the landscape and environment.
- In total, some 36km (22.5 miles) of the 225km (140 miles) long double-track line between London's Euston Station and Birmingham's Curzon Street Station is underground, the majority of that in twin-tube bored tunnels. This includes some 7km (4.35 miles) of the track from Euston Station, beneath north London suburbs, to a massive interchange station at Old Oak Common that will link HS2 with the Great Western Mainline rail services as well as to those of the new Crossrail project, the Heathrow Express line and other rail line connections.
Vast new interchange to be built at Old Oak Common
- Another tunnel drive will provide a connection to the existing High-Speed 1 (HS1) line that runs from St Pancras Terminus to and through the Channel Tunnel, passing under the northeast suburbs of London and under the Thames in twin bored tunnels, and through the North Downs in a single-tube, twin-track NATM tunnel.
- From Old Oak Common, HS2 passes next into 4.4km (2.73 miles) of twin bored tunnels of some 7.25m i.d. to go under the Chiltern railway line and protect local communities in the Northolt and Ruislip areas. Then it is on to the long 13km (8.1 miles) twin bored tunnel under the Chiltern Hills, starting just beyond the M25 motorway and emerging onto a viaduct across Wendover Dean to the north. In addition a number of so called cut-and-cover 'green' tunnels will place the line underground at strategically sensitive locations around selected villages and through 'areas of outstanding natural beauty'.
- Towards Birmingham, the line will split into two routes, one veering left to arrive at a new purpose built HS2 station at Curzon Street in an area of the city that is long overdue a programme of urban regeneration, and the other preparing the initial stage of the high-speed infrastructure for its extension to Leeds and Manchester in Phase 2 and on further north to Scotland in future phases. As Phase 1 of the project prepares for Parliamentary Approval and construction, Phase 2 has started its public consultation process.
- Realisation of Phase 1 of the project is estimated (in 2011 figures) at £16.3 billion (US$26 billion) with the bored tunnel sections valued at more than £1.4 billion (US$2.25 billion). For Doug Oakervee, the new man at the helm of this mega-project, there is much to do and lessons learned from the Crossrail procurement process to apply.
- Extra tunnels seal UK high speed rail approval - TunnelTalk, January 2012
Seven shortlisted for High Speed 2 design - TunnelTalk, February 2012
Environmental services for UK high speed rail - TunnelTalk, February 2012
High-speed rail pitch for the UK - TunnelTalk, August 2009
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