HS2 announces contract shortlist for £370m rail interchange

By Leila Steed06 September 2021

View of HS2 Interchange station from the lake Concept image of the new HS2 Interchange Station in Solihull

Laing O’Rourke Construction, Skanska Construction UK and a joint venture company called Unity, comprising Sir Robert McAlpine and VolkerFitzpatrick, have been announced as the shortlisted bidders by HS2 Ltd for a £370 million railway interchange station contract.

The companies are now invited to tender for the £370 million contract, which is due to be awarded in 2022 and comprises both the provision of detailed pre-construction designs and the station’s construction. 

Andrew Cubitt, HS2’s procurement and supply chain director, said, “Congratulations to the organisations who have been shortlisted for this significant HS2 contract, which will not only boost jobs in the Midlands, but will open up fantastic supply chain opportunities for businesses right across the country.”

Located north-west of London near Birmingham in the West Midlands - on a 150-hectare triangle of land between the M42, A45 and A452 roads - it is said the new Solihull Interchange Station will be the “first railway station globally to achieve the BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification at the design stage”.

HS2 Ltd, which is working with specialist design company Arup, said it is aiming for the new infrastructure asset to be net zero carbon in its operation and the most sustainable railway in the world.

Matthew Botelle, HS2’s Stations Director, said, “This is a major milestone in the delivery of our HS2 stations. We’re looking forward to working with the winning bidder on our award-winning designs, to build a world class, eco-friendly station that will play a major role in helping us deliver Britain’s new low-carbon railway.”

Solihull HS2 Interchange Station

Described as a “major boost” for the Midlands, the new eco-friendly interchange will incorporate as much natural daylight and ventilation as possible, and its roof will be equipped to capture and reuse rainwater.

In addition to energy efficient heat pumps and lighting, HS2 said it will also include features that will see it achieve “net zero carbon emissions from day-to-day energy consumption”. 

TBM Florence The 170m-long TBM Florence is the first of ten tunnel boring machines that will dig a total of 103km of railway tunnels to connect London and Birmingham.

With Phase 1 tunnelling works between London and Birmingham already begun, the construction of the new HS2 Interchange Station is expected to contribute around 1,000 jobs to the local area.

According to Cubitt, “the benefits go even further, with the wider opportunities for commercial development around Interchange Station set to drive local investment and regeneration.”

HS2 said, “The huge growth plans around the site, being led by the Urban Growth Company, will support 30,000 jobs, up to 3,000 new homes and 70,000m2 of commercial space.

“These will form part of the UK Central Hub area plans for 70,000 jobs, 5,000 new homes and 650,000m2 of commercial space, generating £6.2bn GVA per year and bringing 1.3m people to within a 45-minute public transport commute of the station.”

HS2 opportunities for construction companies

This latest development comes as Andrew Stephenson - the Conservative MP for Pendle and a Minister of State at the Department for Transport - calls on small and medium sized businesses to register as part of the HS2 supply chain.

Businesses, particularly those in Yorkshire and Humberside, are being urged to sign up for one-hour business webinar, in which Stephenson and contractors already involved on the high speed rail project, will provide insight and information on the opportunities that working on HS2 can offer.

According to HS2, the railway line between London and Birmingham is expected create around “400,000 contract opportunities” with a value of £25 billion.

Robin Lapish, HS2’s supply chain manager, said, “In the current climate, local businesses are looking for confidence and assurance in the supply chain and a contract with HS2 provides that.

“My advice to small businesses is to invest an hour of your time - HS2 isn’t just about track and trains, and that’s exactly what this webinar will demonstrate.”

The webinar will take place at 3pm on Tuesday, 21 September, 2021. Companies wishing to sign-up can do so by clicking here.

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