Contracts worth nearly £3.3 billion have been awarded to build the tunnels from Euston to Old Oak Common for the HS2 railway.

The contract was awarded to a joint venture company, Skanska Costain Strabag, (SCSJV) to commence full detailed design and construction of major tunnels in the approach to the London terminus at Euston station.

The companies estimate that this contract will create 6,000 jobs. This is made up of 1,500 in the joint venture and over 4,800 in the supply chain.

Of the first section’s 8 km, 7.3 km will be in a twin bored tunnel constructed using tunnel boring machines (TBMs), with an internal diameter of 7.65 m. Lot S2 (Northolt Tunnels) is 16.3 km long. 13.7 km will be in a twin bored tunnel with an 8.80 m internal diameter, and the remainder will be in cut-and-cover tunnels.

The contract is just one of a four that were awarded today after HS2 marked the next step for the project after issuing ‘Notice to proceed’ to the companies that will undertake construction on Britain’s new railway.

Works under way at the moment as Phase One have focused on undertaking scheme design and site preparation (including pricing and scoping) for the civils work. The ‘Notice to proceed’ marks the formal approval for the project to begin the construction phase and HS2 is now entering Phase Two of the main works civils contracts, with each held by a specific joint-venture.

Other contracts include the 80km section between the Chilterns to Warwickshire, awarded to Eiffage Genie Civil, Kier Infrastructure , BAM Nuttall, Ferrovial Agroman (EKBF).

Also awarded is the £5 billion contract for the 90km stretch between the Long Itchington Wood Green tunnel in the south to the West Coast Main Line tie-in near Litchfield in the north with a major junction into central Birmingham at Curzon Street – given to Balfour Beatty and VINCI.

The joint venture of Balfour Beatty, VINCI and SYSTRA was awarded the construction management contract for the £1 billion Old Oak Common station back in 2019.

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12 comments on “HS2’s contracts awarded – includes £3.3 billion London tunnels
  1. Harry says:

    I’m sure there must be a good reason, but why will the second section be more than a metre bigger in diameter than the first section? Will they be running different trains through them?

    • ianvisits says:

      Larger tunnels needed as by then the trains will have accelerated to high speed, causing aerodynamic effects which require larger tunnels, plus they call for noise mitigation measures and strengthened electricity power supplies.

  2. Melvyn says:

    Some positive news at last and confirmation that Euston Station will remain the London terminal for HS2 and not OOC which is not where people want to go when travelling to London!

    As for covid19 which Antis have tried to use to justify cancelling HS2 well the timescale of building HS2 will likely mean that covid19 will be history long before much of HS2 has been built and given the loss of jobs it looks like causing then major government infrastructure projects like HS2 will be needed to provide employment both directly in the project as well as indirectly given how workers on building schemes spend money in local cafes near building sites thus spreading the money government has provided in their wages!

  3. James says:

    I’m sympathetic to the appeal for donations, it would be helpful to know the costs involved.

  4. Peter Feltham says:

    All the TBMs will be made in the EU as were all the TBMs for Crossrail and the new Thames Tideway Tunnels. This is shameful.

    • ianvisits says:

      Is it equally shameful for European airlines to use UK built aircraft engines and wings?

      Is it equally shameful for European people to drink Scottish whisky?

      Is it equally shameful for European telecoms to rely on UK built satellites?

      Trade is a 2-way process, and in a market that’s both highly specialised, hence needing lots of R&D, and also where there’s limited customer demand, it’s likely that a few large companies supply the global demand — whether it’s TBMs or aircraft engines — there’s just not enough demand within each country to have national champions for each product.

  5. Dave says:

    When can we expect tunnelling to get underway?

  6. steve doole says:

    How deep are these tunnels near the canal?

  7. Clive Broadhead says:

    If jobs are a major reason for HS2 why hasn’t work also started on the Crossrail North MTR/Metro line from Liverpool to Leeds?

    • ianvisits says:

      The short term boost in construction jobs is not the reason why you build a railway that will be used for centuries by millions of people.

  8. Ramon Prasad says:

    Dear Ian,

    Perhaps you can find a way of coaxing the gigantic elephant away from sitting on the carpet in the living room of the HS2 house. HS2 arrives at Euston but HS1 arrives at St Pancras. Suppose some kind of madcap Englishman from England, or even a madcap Frenchman from France, having arrived from England at Euston, or having arrived from France at St Pancras, wish to continue their HS journey to France from England or their HS journey to England from France.

    How do they do it? There is no other way than to fight, on foot,the incredible infrastructure being constructed between Euston and St Pancras.(You have done a fantastic job describing it.)

    But HS stands for HIGH SPEED. Not to say high convenience. HS will become a laughing stock of European Railway folklore if the British government do not finance the link, which they previously had, of enabling two way transfer between the two.

    A child can see it. Can an HS1/2 elephant sitting on it’s own living room carpet see it?

    Yours Ramon Prasad

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