HS2 announces shortlist for train depot and network control centre

HS2 Ltd has confirmed the shortlist of bidders in the running to build the high-speed rail project’s network control centre and rolling stock maintenance depot, which will create around 500 long-term jobs in Birmingham’s Washwood Heath.

The contract – worth an estimated £275m – will see the winning bidder work with HS2 Ltd to transform the thirty-hectare brown field site into the nerve centre of the high-speed network.

The following bidders will be invited to tender:

•             GÜLERMAK AĞIR SAN. İNŞAAT VE TAAH. A.Ş & Gulermak Sp z o.o.

•             VINCI Construction UK Limited (t/a Taylor Woodrow) & Keltbray Limited

•             VolkerFitzpatrick Ltd & VolkerRail Ltd

HS2’s fleet of high-speed trains will be serviced and maintained, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, from the Washwood Heath site. The depot will include a rolling stock maintenance building, carriage wash, automatic vehicle inspection building, and 14 sidings where trains can be stored overnight.

Also on the same site will be the Network Integrated Control Centre, the centre of the network’s signalling and control systems as well as office buildings for cleaners and drivers. In total, around 500 jobs are expected to be based across both the depot and control centre.

“HS2 will transform rail travel across the UK – as a brand new North-South railway offering passengers fast, reliable, low carbon journeys between many of Britain’s largest cities,” said Andrew Cubitt, HS2 Ltd’s Procurement and Supply Chain Director.

“Washwood Heath will be at the heart of the operation – servicing and maintaining the trains as well as controlling the operations. The site will also be a major boost for the local community, with around 500 long term jobs set to be created at the site and extra land freed up for development. That’s why it’s great to see such a strong shortlist for the design and construction.”

The Washwood Heath site was formerly home to the disused Metro-Cammell railway works which closed in 2004. A team from HS2’s enabling works contractor LM (Laing Murphy), completed the demolition of the buildings on the site last year, ready for the start of construction.

Once operational, Phase One and 2a will have a fleet of at least 54 trains which will be based at Washwood Heath. These 200m long units can be doubled up to create 400m long trains and will serve destinations beyond the HS2 network – like Liverpool, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow – via a connection to the existing West Coast Main Line at Crewe. Contracts are expected to be awarded in 2023. 

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