Construction Enquirer News Bidding starts for first overhead lines powering trains to operate at 360km/h

HS2 has restarted the search for specialist contractors to deliver the overhead catenary system powering trains to operate at 360km/hr.

The winner of the £300m overhead power systems package will be responsible for additional stages of design as well as manufacture, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of the systems.

OCS will be a single-stage procurement, with the successful bidder delivering two separate contracts covering Phase One and Phase 2a – from London to Crewe.

The system will cover 589 single track km, including 62 viaducts, 293 bridges and 15 tunnels.

HS2 will use the V360 OCS design range under licence from SNCF Reseau – the first system in Europe to be certified for speeds of up to 360km/h.

The licence agreement allows the OCS contractor to go to the components market to find the most competitive supplier, opening up opportunities for smaller suppliers across the UK.

Firms will be shortlisted in the summer, with contract award in 2022.

Earlier this week, HS2 also launched contract opportunities worth an estimated £498m, covering Tunnel and Lineside Mechanical and Electrical equipment across Phase One and 2a.

This includes the tunnel services within the shafts, tunnels and cross-passages and low voltage power services and distribution in the open route.

A shortlist is expected to be announced towards the end of the year, with contract award in 2022.

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