Major rail system contract awards will begin this year before 2026 as major civil projects end. Around £5bn worth of contracts remain to oversee the construction of the rail network’s tracks, power supply, signalling, overhead wires and iconic control centre. Key milestones due early this year include the start of work on Birmingham’s new Curzon Street station and the progress of the first TBM to be used to bore the Chilterns Tunnel, the longest tunnel on the route at 10 miles, reports Contract Journal.
Eleven contracts have already been tendered and are expected to be awarded in 2024, creating further opportunities for the UK rail, construction and engineering sectors. Three contracts cover the design, logistics and installation of the track system, as well as a maintenance depot in Calvert, Buckinghamshire, which will operate HS2 services at speeds of up to 225mph. Another focus will be on the high-tech signalling system, which will send information directly to the cab as an alternative to online signals, enabling faster and more frequent services to maximise online space.
A further contract for the line’s high voltage network will be awarded, providing carbon-free electricity from the National Grid. Another winner will be chosen to build the £275m HS2 “nerve centre” in Washwood Heath, Birmingham.