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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