HS2 Begins Overhead Catenary System Suppliers Search

HS2 Ltd has began its search for suppliers to deliver the overhead catenary system for the electrified high-speed line.

HS2 Ltd has started looking for specialist contractors to supply the overhead catenary system. The contract will be worth in the region of 300 million GBP.

HS2 Birmingham Curzon Street platform visual
HS2 Birmingham Curzon Street platform visual

Overhead Catenary System Contract

The successful bidder of the overhead catenary system contract will have responsibility over additional stages of design, the manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the systems.

HS2 Ltd is conducting the OCS contract procurement in a single stage. The winner of the contract will, however, deliver two separate contracts, namely Phase 1 and Phase 2a of HS2.

The overhead catenary system will cover 589 single track kilometres, including 62 viaducts, 293 bridges and 15 tunnels. As with HS2’s other major contracts, the successful party will be expected to work closely with the other rail systems suppliers working on HS2 to make sure there is integration of the design and throughout the construction, testing and commissioning phases.

HS2 will use the V360 OCS design range under licence from SNCF Reseau. It is the first system in Europe to be certified for speeds up to 360km/h. It is permitted under the licence that the OCS contractor can look for the most competitive supplier on the components market to deliver the system.

HS2 Ltd will announce a contractor shortlist this summer and then award the contract in 2022.

David Poole, Procurement and Commercial Director, HS2 Ltd, said:

“Our state-of-the-art rail systems will allow HS2 to run fast, frequent, high capacity services across the network - offering low carbon travel options for millions of people across Britain. The overhead catenary is a vital part of the project and the successful bidder will play a crucial role in keeping the HS2 network running safely and reliably.”

HS2 recently opened up contracts for tunnel and lineside mechanical and electrical equipment for Phase 1 and Phase 2a. These opportunities are worth in the region of 498 million GBP and include the tunnel services within the shafts, tunnels and cross-passages and low-voltage power services and distribution in the open route. Here too HS2 will announce a shortlist in 2020 (towards the end of the year) with the contract award taking place in 2022.

Phase 2a

The legislation for Phase 2a of HS2, from Birmingham to Crewe (where the line will meet the West Coast Main Line) is currently in the House of Lords. Royal Assent is likely later in 2020.

All the rail systems contracts HS2 Ltd has launched recently already include contracts for Phase 2a, meaning that contracts can be signed as soon as the legislation is present.

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