HS2 tenders £275m control centre contract


HS2 has launched a £275m tender for a contractor to build the project’s central control centre and maintenance depot in Birmingham’s Washwood Heath.

The winning bidder will work with HS2 Ltd to transform the 30-hectare brownfield site into the nerve centre of the HS2 network.

Bidders are expected to be shortlisted for the single-stage design and build contract in the summer with contract award in 2023.

Photo HS2 Ltd: The current Washwood Heath site

Next to the main line into Birmingham Curzon Street, the depot site will be where HS2’s fleet is serviced and maintained, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It will also be home to a 40,000 m2 Rolling Stock Maintenance Building, Carriage Wash, Automatic Vehicle Inspection Building and 14 sidings where trains can be stored overnight.

Washwood Heath will also be house the Network Integrated Control Centre, the centre of the network’s signalling and control systems, as well as office buildings for cleaners and drivers.

HS2 Ltd’s commercial director, David Poole said: 'The start of the search for a contractor to build Washwood Heath is a real milestone for the HS2 project and a huge long-term opportunity for the area. With main works civils construction now well underway, we are putting the specialist team in place to support operation of the new railway.

'Washwood Heath will be at the heart of the operation – and around 500 high skilled jobs based at the depot will be a major boost for the community.'

The site was formerly home to the disused Metro-Cammell railway works which closed in 2004.

A team from HS2’s early works contractor LM completed the demolition of the buildings on the site last year.

The news of the tender comes as the legislation for HS2's Phase 2a from Birmingham to Crewe was given Royal Assent.

Once operational, Phase 1 and 2a will have a fleet of at least 54 trains based at Washwood Heath, HS2 Ltd said.

The 200m units can be doubled up to create 400m trains and 'will serve destinations beyond the HS2 network – such as Liverpool, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow - via a connection to the existing West Coast Main Line at Crewe', HS2 Ltd added.

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