HS2 begins electrification procurement

HS2 Ltd has started the electrification procurement process searching for the suppliers for the overhead catenary system (OCS) for the new high-speed railway line between London, Birmingham and the north of England. The contract has a value of GBP 300 million (EUR 332.4 million). The shortlisted companies will be announced in the summer and the contract is expected to be awarded in 2022.

The winner of the overhead line equipment contract will be responsible for additional stages of design as well as manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the systems. The OCS will be a single stage procurement, with the successful bidder delivering two separate contracts covering Phase One and Phase 2a, from London to Crewe, where HS2 services will join the existing west coast main line.

The electrification procurement process involves the delivery of the system covering 589 single track kilometres, including 62 viaducts, 293 bridges and 15 tunnels. The successful bidder will be responsible for design and will be expected to work closely with HS2’s other rail systems suppliers to ensure integration of its design and throughout construction, testing and commissioning.

“The overhead catenary is a vital part of the project and the successful bidder will play a crucial role in keeping the HS2 network running safely and reliably,” HS2 Ltd’s Procurement and Commercial Director, David Poole, said.

The HS2 railway line will use the V360 OCS design from the SNCF Reseau, which is the first system in Europe to be certified for speeds of up to 360km/h. The licence agreement allows the OCS contractor to go to the components market to find the most competitive supplier, opening up opportunities for smaller suppliers across the UK.

Last week, HS2 launched a GBP 498 million (EUR 551.85 million) contract covering tunnel  and lineside mechanical and electrical equipment for the Phase One and 2a which includes the tunnel services within the shafts, tunnels and cross-passages and low voltage power services and distribution in the open route.

Currently, the legislation for the construction of the Phase 2a, the railway from Birmingham to Crewe, is in the Lords with Royal Assent expected later in the year.

In April, the Department for Transport gave its green light to start the construction of the new high speed railway line. In May HS2 Ltd has started the procurement processes for track systems and signalling and control systems.


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