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HS2 begins search for specialist telecommunications contractor

Posted: 22 June 2020 | | No comments yet

The winner of the £300 million contract will be responsible for HS2’s telecommunication systems from design through to initial maintenance.

The search for HS2 track systems suppliers begins

Credit: HS2 Ltd

HS2 has announced that it has begun the search for a specialist contractor to deliver 230km of state-of-the-art telecommunications systems which will connect the UK’s new high-speed rail link between London, Birmingham and the north of England.

The winner of the contract – which is worth approximately £300 million – will be responsible for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, safety authorisation, testing, commissioning and initial maintenance of the operational telecommunication systems, as well as the route-wide security systems, on Phase One and 2a, between London and Crewe.

The scope of the work includes 2,760km 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 deliver a separate contract for the provision of technical support services.

The start of the formal procurement process for this third set of ‘rail systems’ contracts follows on from the recent launch of the contests for track systems and command and control systems, as well as the government’s approval for the start of civil works, including tunnels, bridges and viaducts.

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 that 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 in 2021 – will cover third party communications, including mobile phone coverage for passengers on trains and in stations, Wi-Fi and an emergency services network.

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

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