HS2, Britain’s new high-speed, zero carbon railway, is now being built. Over 2,400 companies from Dundee to Devon have already delivered work on this national endeavour, with the project currently supporting nearly 30,000 jobs.
The new railway will run from the North West to the South East, calling at Manchester, Crewe, Birmingham and London. HS2 trains will join the existing rail network continuing further north towards Scotland shortening journey times between some of Britain’s biggest cities. This is Europe’s largest infrastructure project and the Government’s flagship transport levelling up project.
Construction on Phase One, between the West Midlands and London, is well underway, with over 350 sites boring tunnels deep underground, raising bridges in the air and developing city centre stations.
Phase Two, is split into two parts, with the first part between the West Midlands and Crewe currently undertaking early works and the second part completing the railway into Manchester making its way through the Parliamentary approval process.
HS2 will begin running between 2029 and 2033 when Phase One is complete and services will expand as new sections of the network are built. This huge endeavour will span the next 15 years and the railway itself will be in use well into the 22nd century.
The first phase of the railway runs between the West Midlands and London with construction well underway. Initially, the first services will run between Birmingham Curzon Street and Old Oak Common in West London, with the line to Euston opening later. We estimate there will be 400,000 contract opportunities from Phase One construction alone.
The main works contractors and station contractors on Phase One are:
Area North – Balfour Beatty, VINCI (BBV JV)
BBV is responsible for main works in the West Midlands, between Long Itchington Wood Tunnel South Portal to the West Coast Main Line tie-in at Handsacre.
Area Central – Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial, BAM Nuttall (EKFB JV)
EKFB is responsible for an 80km mostly rural section of the route between the Chiltern Tunnel and Long Itchington Wood.
Area Central – Bouygues, Sir Robert McAlpine, VolkerFitzpatrick (Align JV)
Align is delivering a 22km section of the route between the M25 at Ickenham and Buckinghamshire, covering the Chiltern Tunnel and Colne Valley Viaduct.
Area South – Skanska, Costain, Strabag (SCS JV)
SCS is responsible for the Phase One route in the London area, covering 26km of underground route including Euston tunnels and Northolt tunnels respectively, via the new Old Oak Common station.
Birmingham Curzon Street – Mace Dragados JV
Interchange – Laing O’Rourke
Old Oak Common – Balfour Beatty, VINCI, Systra (BBVS JV)
Euston – Mace Dragados JV
North of the West Midlands, the line is split into two phases. Phase 2a extends HS2 from the West Midlands to Crewe and Phase 2b completes the route into Manchester.
Some enabling works have already taken place along Phase 2a after receiving Parliamentary approval in 2021. This part of the route is 60km long with much of it being in rural areas.
The Bill for Phase 2b is currently making its way through the Parliamentary process and will include new stations at Manchester Airport and at Manchester Piccadilly.
For the project as a whole buying a range of major works packages, including enabling from a relatively small number of high-value direct contracts. However, these in turn will give rise to many more indirect supply chain opportunities.
The experience of other large UK infrastructure programmes such as the Olympics and Crossrail suggest we can expect that every 10 direct tier 1 major works contracts to result in over 10,000 indirect supply chain opportunities.
These will be of most interest to SME suppliers, as they will be more appropriate in size and most likely appeal to their specific capabilities.
In total, HS2 expect 60% of contract opportunities to be awarded to SMEs.
Benchmark and Improve Your Sustainability Knowledge
HS2 is working closely with key supplier partners to deliver a free programme of sustainability training and online support for the wider supply chain. Provided by the Supply Chain Sustainability School this initiative uses a collaborative approach to share learning and build competence linked to HS2 strategic objectives. Topics include Net Zero Carbon, Waste Management, Equality & Diversity, Social Value, Biodiversity and Modern Slavery.
“A really valuable resource to help develop our wider supply chain” Ruth Todd, Chief Commercial Officer, HS2
To find out more please visit https://www.supplychainschool.co.uk/partners/hs2-supply-chain-school/