Home Company News HS2 opens procurement for operational telecoms

HS2 opens procurement for operational telecoms

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

The contract – worth around £300 million – will be to design, manufacture, supply, install the operational telecommunication systems and the route wide security systems on Phase One and 2a, between London and Crewe. It will include obtaining safety authorisation, testing, commissioning and initial maintenance.

The work detailed in the contract will include 2,760 km 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 be asked to deliver a separate contract for the provision of technical support services.

This announcement signifies the start of the formal procurement process for this third set of ‘rail systems’ contracts, following on from the recent launch of the contests for track systems and for command and control systems.

HS2 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 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 next year – 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.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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