In 2010, the British government decided to modernise and expand the high speed rail network with a new line to the North in addition to the existing one between the Channel Tunnel and London. This new line is HS2 (High Speed Line 2) and will connect London and Birmingham (Phase 1) in 2026, later extending to Manchester and Leeds (Phase 2) in 2033 in a ‘Y’ network.
The line is designed for a maximum speed of 400 km/h and will deliver peak-hour frequencies of up to 18 trains each way when it is completed. The total projected cost is £56 billion.
Phase 1 will be 225 km long and will have four stations; two in London and two in Birmingham (one of them at the airport). Phase 2 will be 360 km long and will also have four stations; two in Manchester (one of them at the airport), another near Nottingham, and the fourth in Leeds.
The SCS JV, comprising Skanska, Costain and Strabag, is developing Lots S1 and S2 in Phase 1. TYPSA has been working with the JV since bidding and is now working on the contract.
Lot S1 (Euston Tunnels and Approaches) covers the first section from Euston Station for trains leaving London. 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.