HS2 begins search for Washwood Heath train depot contractor
The Washwood Heath site in Birmingham is where HS2’s fleet of state-of-the-art high-speed trains will be serviced and maintained once in operation.
Credit: Jeremy de Souza - Demolition in progress at Washwood Heath in July 2019.
HS2 Ltd has begun the search for a specialist contractor to build the high-speed rail project’s central control centre and maintenance depot, which will create around 500 long-term jobs in Birmingham’s Washwood Heath.
The contract, which is worth an estimated £275 million, will see the winning bidder work with HS2 Ltd to transform the 30 hectare brown field site into the nerve centre of the HS2 network.
From this point, next to the main line into Birmingham Curzon Street, HS2’s fleet of state-of-the-art high-speed trains will be serviced and maintained, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – ready to provide an unparalleled level of frequency and reliability for passengers across the UK.
The depot will include: A 40,000m2 rolling stock maintenance building; a carriage wash; an automatic vehicle inspection building; and 14 sidings, where trains can be stored overnight.
Also on the same site will be the Network Integrated Control Centre, the centre of the network’s state-of-the-art signalling and control systems, as well as office buildings for cleaners and drivers.
HS2 Ltd’s Commercial Director, David Poole, said: “The start of the search for a contractor to build Washwood Heath is a real milestone for the HS2 project and a huge long-term opportunity for the area. With main civil works construction now well underway, we are putting the specialist team in place to support operation of the new railway. Washwood Heath will be at the heart of the operation – and around 500 high skilled jobs based at the depot will be a major boost for the community.”
The Washwood Heath site was formerly home to the disused Metro-Cammell railway works, which closed in 2004. A team from HS2’s early works contractor, LM, completed the demolition of the buildings on the site in 2020, ready for the start of construction.
Once operational, Phase One and 2a will have a fleet of at least 54 trains, which will be based at Washwood Heath. These 200m long units can be doubled up to create 400m long trains and will serve destinations beyond the HS2 network – like Liverpool, Preston, Carlisle and Glasgow – via a connection to the existing West Coast Main Line at Crewe.
Bidders are expected to be shortlisted for the single-stage design and build contract in the summer of 2021, with the contract being awarded in 2023.