United Kingdom awards $8.7 billion worth of contracts for 250mph rail line

Troubled Carillion wins HS2 building contract

Engineering firm Costain Group PLC on Monday said it has been informed by High Speed Two Ltd that it is "minded to award" Costain with two contracts for the construction of the high speed London to Birmingham rail service.

United Kingdom companies Carillion, Costain and Balfour Beatty are among the consortia who will undertake the world.

In all the first phase of HS2 is expected to support 16 thousand jobs.

David Higgins, chairman of HS2 Ltd, said: "This is a huge day for the HS2 project and for the country".

"HS2 was always created to be much more than just a high speed railway and today we can see the opportunities it brings right around the country - spreading prosperity, acting as a catalyst for investment and rebalancing our economy ten years before the railway even opens".

The latest announcements come after business leaders met in Leeds this month and were told Yorkshire must make its voice heard, in order to guarantee the rail line is built in the region.

The long-awaited HS2 rail project could "double the number of rush hour seats" for Leeds commuters, it has been revealed today.

The work on the planned 190 kilometer (118 miles) high-speed line is valued at nearly 1.4 billion pounds ($1.8 billion) and will be shared with French construction company Eiffage SA and United Kingdom competitor Kier Group Plc, Carillion said in a statement Monday.

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In February, Parliament granted powers to construct the Phase One route from London Euston to Birmingham, with the route opening in 2026.

Mr Grayling said in addition to speeding up journey times, HS2 will support 16,000 jobs across the United Kingdom, with more than 100 Scottish businesses interested in the opportunities it will create.

Costain said HS2 has said it may award Costain two main work civil construction - S1 and S2 - packages, under a joint venture.

These are significant milestones which show how progress is continuing to deliver stations that will be embraced by the local communities, drive economic growth and provide seamless journeys for passengers. Last week, the invitations to tender for the station designs and for the role of Euston Master Development Partner were released to shortlisted bidders.

Keith Cochrane, interim CEO at Carillion, said: "Carillion is a leading supplier of infrastructure services with top two positions in both the United Kingdom rail and highways sectors, where we work in partnership with key customers, including Network Rail, Highways England and HS2".

This means - subject to Parliamentary approval - this part of the route can open in 2027, 6 years earlier than planned, to bring the benefits of HS2 to the north and Scotland sooner.

The first phase of HS2, connecting London's Euston station with Birmingham in the midlands, is now scheduled for completion in 2026.

In documents first obtained by the Sunday Times at the weekend, Michael Byng, who worked alongside Network Rail to devise its method for costing projects, estimated costs for the first stage of HS2 which, if extrapolated, would result in a £104bn price tag for the full project.

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