HS2 Ltd, which is overseeing Britain’s HS2 high-speed project, has launched a tender for a £275m contract to build the project’s Washwood Heath train depot and control centre in Birmingham. 

A shortlist of bidders for the contract will be assembled in the summer, with a contract scheduled to be awarded in 2023.  

The depot will include a 40,000m2 rolling stock maintenance building, train washing facility, an automatic vehicle inspection building and 14 sidings for overnight train storage, and will serve as the key maintenance facility for HS2’s fleet of high-speed trains. 

The Network Integrated Control Centre will include facilities to control signalling and train control systems, as well as office buildings for cleaners and drivers. 

Following the opening of phases 1 and 2a, the depot will host a fleet of at least 54 200m-long trains. The trains will be delivered under a £2.75bn contract, which currently has a shortlist of five bidders, including Siemens, Alstom, Talgo, CAF, and Hitachi. 

The new facility will be built on the site of the former Metro-Cammell railway works, which closed in 2004. Demolition of the derelict buildings was completed by HS2’s early works contractor LM last year. LM is a joint venture of Laing O'Rourke and the Murphy Group. 

“The start of the search for a contractor to build Washwood Heath is a real milestone for the HS2 project and a huge long-term opportunity for the area,” says Mr David Poole, HS2 Ltd’s commercial director. “With main works civils construction now well underway, we are putting the specialist team in place to support operation of the new railway. Washwood Heath will be at the heart of the operation, and around 500 high skilled jobs based at the depot will be a major boost for the community.” 

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