The winning bidder will be responsible for design as well as manufacturing, supply, installation, testing, commissioning and maintenance of the line’s power supply systems. Approximately 50 traction substations will be built between London and Crewe in order to draw power from the National Grid to the high-speed trains. The contractor will also deliver a dedicated high-voltage non-traction power network for stations, shafts, portals, depots and railway systems along the route.

While a single stage procurement, the successful bidder will deliver two separate contracts for phase 1, the 190km link from London Euston to Birmingham Curzon Street and Lichfield, and 2a, the 69km section from Lichfield to Crewe, where HS2 services will join the existing West Coast Main Line.

The successful bidder will be expected to work closely with HS2’s other rail systems suppliers to ensure integration of design throughout construction, testing and commissioning.

A shortlist for the contract is expected to be announced next year and the contract awarded in 2022.

The two TBMs have been built by Herrenknecht.

The announcement comes as HS2 Ltd reveals the names of two 170m-long tunnel boring machines, Florence and Cecilia, which have been built by Herrenknecht in Germany. The TBMs will be used by HS2’s main works contractor, Align JV - a joint venture formed of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick - to bore the 9.1m dual-bore Chiltern tunnels. The TBMs are set to be shipped to Britain later this year.

A 17m high headwall and ground reinforcement at what will become the south portal of the Chiltern tunnel was completed at the end of July.

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