HS2 launches £300m hunt for operational telecoms supplier

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HS2 has launched the search for a specialist contractor to deliver 230km of telecommunications systems which will connect the rail link between London, Birmingham and the north of England

The winner of the telecommunications systems contract – worth around £300m – will be responsible for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, safety authorisation, testing, commissioning and initial maintenance of the operational systems.

The winner will also route wide security systems on Phase One and 2a, between London and Crewe.

The scope of the work includes 2,760 km of fibre optic cabling, 140 trackside cabinets, dozens of equipment cabins and radio coverage across 230km, including:

  • Data transmission network
  • Operational telephony system
  • Tunnel radio system
  • GSM-R radio network, including base transmission stations, antenna, etc.
  • Relocatable equipment buildings
  • Route wide security systems
  • Passive provision for Airwave.

The winning bidder will also provide a separate contract for the provision of technical support services.

HS2 Ltd’s procurement and commercial director, David Poole said: “HS2’s operational telecoms systems will be the railway’s communications backbone – linking up the men and women who will run the railway and stretching across 230km of bridges, tunnels, stations, depots and other facilities.

“It will play a vital role in keeping everyone safe and ensuring we can deliver fast, reliable and frequent services.

“I look forward to our team working with the suppliers who come forward and together ensuring that we deliver best quality and value for the project.”

Separate contract opportunities – expected to be announced next year – will cover third party communications including mobile phone coverage for passengers on trains and in stations, WiFi and an emergency services network.

The telecommunications systems contractor will be expected to take a leading role in the managing of interfaces between the telecommunications and other contracts.

INWED 2020

As part of International Women in Engineering Day 2020 (23 June), HS2 has also called on women to help build the infrastructure project.

Kate Myers, HS2 Ltd head of skills, employment and education, said: “At HS2 we’ve always been focused on addressing the issue of an ageing workforce in railway engineering and construction, a workforce traditionally dominated by men.

“We’re determined to become a global leader in the sector and export our skills in high speed rail and engineering excellence, and more women and young people is what will take us there.

“On Women in Engineering Day 2020 I want to encourage all those budding female engineers, project managers and designers to come and join me on Europe’s most ambitious infrastructure project, and together we can ensure that HS2 leaves a lasting skills legacy, with a culturally diverse and gender-balanced workforce capable of delivering the UK’s future pipeline of engineering projects.”

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