Civil contract awards for UK HS2 Phase I 17 Jul 2017

Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk

Seven of the major civil construction contracts for the first phase of the UK HS2 rail project between London and west of Birmingham are awarded to five joint venture teams.

First phase development of the new line, which is 240km long, is awarded in the following sections, from south to north:

Tunnels (in black) on the HS2 Phase 1 route
Tunnels (in black) on the HS2 Phase 1 route

S1 Euston Tunnels and Approaches
SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK, Costain and Strabag)
S2 Northolt Tunnels
SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK, Costain and Strabag)
C1 Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley District
Align JV (Buoygues, VolkerFitzpatrick, McAlpine)
C2 North Portal Tunnels to Brackey
CEK JV (Carillion Construction, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas)
C3 Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel
CEK JV (Carillion Construction, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas)
N1 Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur
BBV JV (Balfour Beatty, Vinci)
N2 Delta Junction to West Coast Mainline Tie-In
BBV JV (Balfour Beatty, Vinci)

Major bored and cut-and-cover tunnels for HS2 Phase 1 London–Birmingham
Major bored and cut-and-cover tunnels for HS2 Phase 1 London–Birmingham

In total, eight joint ventures and a single company bidder, Bechtel, were shortlisted in March 2016 by HS2 Ltd, the delivery partner of the UK Department of Transport. The unsuccessful bidders were the Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Agroman), the LFM JV (Laing O’Rourke, FCC Construction and J. Murphy and Sons), the Momentum JV (Dragados, Hochtief and GallifordTry Infrastructure), the ASL JV (Acciona, Sisk and Lagan Construction), and Bechtel.

It is anticipated by HS2 Ltd that 10 TBMs will be procured for excavation of the 39km of twin running tunnels that comprise Phase I of the project. Two smaller diameter 8.25m–8.45m machines will be procured by the SCS JV for excavation of the 7km-long Euston Tunnels between the route’s southern terminus at a redeveloped Euston Station, and Old Oak Common Station – both in London. The same JV will procure four more TBMs of 9.5m–9.7m diameter for excavation of the 14km-long Northolt Tunnels, also in London.

HS2 Phase 1 and 2 alignment
HS2 Phase 1 and 2 alignment

The Align JV will procure two TBMs of 9.5m–9.7m diameter for excavation of the third major tunnel through the Chiltern Hills, which is 13.4km long and was extended during the consultation period in order to pacify objections about the route. The CEK JV will procure one machine of similar diameter for excavation of the 1.5km long Long Itchington Wood Tunnel, and a further machine will be required for excavation of the 2.8km long tunnel on the approach to the new Birmingham International Station, although this short stretch of spur line has not yet been awarded.

Transport Minister Chris Grayling said that preparatory works ahead of the major civil contracts are already under way, with main construction work starting in 2018/19 following a period of detailed design work. Invitations to tender (ITTs) for the station design services contracts for all four Phase One stations – including Old Oak Common and Euston in London, and Birmingham Station – as well as the invitation to participate in dialogue (ITPD) for the Euston Master Development Partner – have been released to shortlisted bidders.

A series of other announcements regarding the UK’s high speed rail programme are also taking place today, including the publication of a parliamentary Bill to deliver the next phase of HS2, from the West Midlands to the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe, early.

This means – subject to Parliamentary approval – that this 50km part of the route (known as Phase 2a) can open in 2027, six years earlier than planned, to bring the benefits of HS2 to the north and Scotland sooner.

The Transport Minister will also confirm the final Phase 2b route, from Crewe to Manchester – which includes a 9km-long twin running tunnel into Manchester Airport and the city; and from Birmingham to the East Midlands and Leeds. This phase will complete some 550km of HS2 and is due to open in 2033.

David Higgins, Chairman of HS2 Ltd, said: “This is a huge day for the HS2 project and for the country. These contracts will support 16,000 jobs here in Britain and will create opportunities for thousands of SMEs.”


Nine teams shortlisted for UK HS2 major civils 23 Mar 2016

TunnelTalk reporting

The world’s major international civil contractors are lined up to compete for the first seven civil and tunnelling contracts of the UK High Speed 2 program.

HS2 Ltd, the delivery arm of high speed rail in the UK, today (Wednesday) announces the shortlist for the first phase of construction between London and Birmingham.

Eight joint ventures and a single company bidder will be competing for contracts totalling between £7.1 billion and £11.8 billion worth of civil engineering on the 100-mile section between London and Crewe. Firms that deliver the best results in terms of value and efficiency will be eligible to bid on an additional 40 miles between Crewe and Birmingham.

Table 1. Shortlisted bidders for HS2 Phase 1 civils
Lot Bidders
S1* CEK, Fusion, Momentum, SCS
S2 * Align JV, CEK, Fusion, SCS
C1* Align JV, BBV, LFM, SCS
C2 Align JV, BBV, CEK, Momentum
C3 - Align JV, ASL, Bechtel, CEK, Momentum
N1 BBV, Fusion, LFM, SCS
N2 BBV, Fusion, LFM, Momentum

* denotes major TBM tunnelling lot

The bidders are:

  • Align Joint Venture, comprising Buoygues, VolkerFitzpatrick and Robert McAlpine
  • ASL, comprising Acciona, Sisk and Lagan Construction
  • BBV, comprising Balfour Beatty, Vinci and BeMo Tunnelling
  • Catalyst, a single company bid by Bechtel
  • CEK, comprising Carillion Construction, Eiffage Genie Civil and Kier Infrastructure
  • Fusion, comprising Morgan Sindall, BAM Nuttall and Ferrovial Agroman
  • LFM, comprising Laing O’Rourke, FCC Construction and J. Murphy and Sons
  • Momentum, comprising Dragados, Hochtief and GallifordTry Infrastructure
  • SCS, comprising Skanska, Costain and Strabag

The packages are:

  • Lot S1, Euston Tunnels and Approaches (£600–900 million), comprising 8,000m of twin bored TBM running tunnels
  • Lot S2, Northolt Tunnels (£850 million–£1.4 billion), comprising 14,000m of twin bored TBM running tunnels
  • Lot C1, Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct, comprising 15,000m of twin bored TBM running tunnels (£800 million–£1.3 billion)
  • Lot C2, North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley (£800 million–£1.3 billion)
  • Lot C3, Brackley to Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel South Portal (£600–900 million)
  • Lot N1, Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction/Birmingham Spur (£900 million–£1.5 billion)
  • Lot N2, Delta Junction to West Coast Main Line Tie-in (£800 million–£1.3 billion)
UK High Speed 2 alignment
UK High Speed 2 alignment

Under procurement rules set by the owner, HS2 Ltd, shortlisted bidders were invited to tender for a maximum of four packages. In order to maintain the “competition and resilience of the project” a maximum of two packages will be awarded to each bidder. All the packages will be let as two part design-build contracts to encourage innovation and flexibility in construction and design. The seven contracts are expected to be signed next year (2017).

In a further milestone for the wider project, HS2 Ltd also publishes details of engineering design work worth up to £500 million for developing the detailed plans for Phase Two, including Crewe to Manchester and Birmingham to Leeds, ahead of a formal route decision on Phase Two, expected in the autumn. Applicants are expected to be shortlisted in the summer with the successful bidders appointed once the route has been announced.

The HS2 Bill, which provides the legislative framework required to proceed to Phase 1 construction, is also due to return to the UK Lower House of Parliament (the Commons) today (Wednesday 23 March), before then moving on to the Upper House (the Lords). Final Royal Assent is expected at the end of the year, with the start of construction scheduled for 2017.

HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Simon Kirby said: “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.

“Collaboration will be at the heart of everything we do. Together with our suppliers, we will create these opportunities while continuing to push for the best value and long term efficiency that will be essential to delivering this transformational project on time and on budget.”

UK Transport Minister Robert Goodwill said: “HS2 is an exceptional opportunity for businesses, creating thousands of jobs during construction and helping to rebalance our economy long before trains start running in 2026. This major moment in the procurement process takes us a step further to getting spades in the ground next year, so construction can begin on this vital railway.”

Table 2. Underground alignments proposed for HS2 London–Birmingham
Location Distance from Euston Station Tunnel Length Tunnel type
Euston Station - Old Oak Common Station box 500m - 8,500m 8,000m TBM
Old Oak Common Station box 8,500m - 9,500m 1,000m Station box
Portal west of Old Oak Common Station box - Ickenham Portal (West Ruislip)** 9,500m - 23,500m 14,000m TBM
Chalfont St Peter - Little Missenden* 31,500m - 45,000m 13,500m TBM
South Heath 46,500m - 47,600m 1,100m Green
Wendover 53,500m - 54,600m 1,300m Green
Turweston 95,000m - 95,100m 100m Green
Greatworth 102,000m - 104,100m 2,100m Green tunnel
Chipping Warden 110,000m - 112,500m 2,500m Green
Ulton Woods 127,000m - 127,400m 400m Green
Ulton Woods 127,400m - 128,900m 1,500m TBM
Burton Green 146,000m - 146,520m 520m Green
TOTAL n/a 46,020m 11+Stn. box

*   2,400m tunnel section added January 2012
** 5,000m section (Northolt-Ickenham added January 2012), 9,000m section
    (Old Oak Common Station box-Northolt added April 2013)


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