Finance

First big contracts awarded in landmark British rail project

First big contracts awarded in landmark British rail project

United Kingdom firms Carillion, Costain and Balfour Beatty are leading consortiums to build tunnels, bridges and other civil engineering works on the first stretch of the new line.

The route the HS2 high-speed rail link will take through Derbyshire has been confirmed - and it includes a station at Chesterfield.

United Kingdom companies Carillion, Costain and Balfour Beatty are among the consortia who will undertake the world.

Nine bids were shortlisted for the project's major contracts with the work valued at around £6.6bn and estimated to support 16,000 jobs.

Sir David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, said: "HS2 was always created to be much more than just a high-speed railway and today we can see the opportunities it brings right around the country - spreading prosperity, acting as a catalyst for investment and rebalancing our economy 10 years before the railway even opens".

"HS2 was always created to be much more than just a high speed railway and today we can see the opportunities it brings right around the country - spreading prosperity, acting as a catalyst for investment and rebalancing our economy 10 years before the railway even opens".

HS2 could carry more than 300,000 people a day. And with fast trains using the new line, there will be extra space for more trains on the existing rail network.

The Government has claimed HS2 "could double the number of rush hour seats" available on busy services in the North.

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Mr Grayling said in addition to speeding up journey times, HS2 will support 16,000 jobs across the United Kingdom, with more than 100 Scottish businesses interested in the opportunities it will create.

The first phase of the project - between London and Birmingham and from Birmingham along the existing West Coast Main Line - was given the go-ahead in February and is due to open in December 2026.

Preparatory works are already underway, with main construction work starting in 2018/19.

These are significant milestones which show how progress is continuing to deliver stations that will be embraced by the local communities, drive economic growth and provide seamless journeys for passengers.

He added that later today the government would introduce a bill to enable the construction of Phase 2a of the line, from the West Midlands to Crewe, and would reveal the final routes of the Manchester and Leeds branches of HS2.

The announcement comes amid calls for work to start early on Leeds' leg of the HS2 route to ensure the city's economy does not miss out.

"We are delighted that our joint venture, CEK, has been selected to deliver two of the three central contracts for HS2 phase 1, the London to Birmingham section of the route, reflecting the strength of our joint venture".

Mark Clinch, director - engineering at Rullion, told Recruiter the agency has played an active role in promoting the case for HS2, which the firm describes as an "essential" project to meet the future capacity demands for rail transportation.