HS2 begins hunt for £275m control centre contractor

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HS2 has begun the hunt for a specialist contractor to deliver the project’s central control centre and maintenance depot

HS2’s central control centre 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 30-hectare brownfield site.

From this point, next to the mainline into Birmingham Curzon Street, HS2’s fleet of high-speed trains will be serviced and maintained, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The maintenance depot will include a 40,000 m2 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.

‘A huge long-term opportunity’

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 Washwood Heath 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, 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.

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

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