One year to the day since Royal Assent was granted for Phase One of HS2, significant work is underway on the project the Government announced today (February 23).
Nusrat Ghani, HS2 Minister, said: “HS2 will be the backbone of our national rail network – improving vital links between some of our biggest cities, driving forward economic growth and regeneration and helping us build a Britain fit for the future.
“One year on from Royal Assent we are making real progress, with significant contracts boosting jobs and prosperity whilst we ensure the new railway is not limited to providing faster, better journeys for passengers, but leaves a lasting legacy of improvements along the route for generations to come.”
Construction has already begun along the Phase One route, which will run from London to the West Midlands and is due to be mostly completed by 2025. The first train services are expected to run on the line from 2026.
Enabling work has already begun, contracts for the main civil engineering works including bridges, tunnels, embankments, viaducts and station designs have been awarded, and procurement of the Euston Master Development Partner and London stations, rolling stock and rail systems contracts are underway.
In addition, £70million of funding has begun to be distributed to those affected by the railway construction, with more funding available for communities and businesses.
Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd said: “Since Royal Assent there has been significant progress at HS2 in developing our capability to deliver Europe’s largest infrastructure project, and our focus is on designing and preparing the way for the new railway.
“Over the last year HS2 has awarded major contracts that will support 14,000 jobs, the National College for High Speed Rail opened its doors to train the future members of our industry, all alongside a major programme of early works.”
Government said that since Royal Assent was granted last year:
- Enabling works are underway in various locations along the line of route. These include archaeological works uncovering the hidden history of Britain, extensive environmental works to mitigate the impact of the railway on the countryside, site clearance and essential utility works.
- First recipients of the £40m Community and Environment Fund (CEF) and Business and Local Economy Fund (BLEF) have been awarded funding for projects along the Phase One line of route, with a further £5 million made available for communities along the HS2 Phase 2a route from the West Midlands to Crewe
- Allocations for local authorities under the £30m Road Safety Fund have been announced, delivering high quality road and cycle safety projects to ensure that England’s roads remain among the safest in the world
- The £5m Woodland Fund has opened for applications, helping local landowners create new native, broadleaf woodlands and enhance existing woodland sites
- Main Works Civils Contracts worth an estimated £6.6billion awarded to construct the bridges, tunnels, embankments and viaducts needed to drive economic growth and provide seamless journeys
- Station design contracts have been awarded, appointing leading creative firms to ensure passengers on our world-class railway will experience modern and accessible stations
- Procurement processes are underway for the Euston Master Development Partner, London stations construction contracts, rolling stock contract and rail systems contracts
- National College for High Speed Rail opened its doors for its first learners in both Doncaster and Birmingham and the first group of apprentices joined HS2 Ltd
- Old Oak Common depot decommissioning is underway
HS2 will create around 25,000 jobs during construction as well as 2,000 apprenticeships. It will also support growth in the wider economy, worth an additional 100,000 jobs says Government.