HS2 reaches 9,000 jobs

HS2 Ltd has confirmed that work on Britain’s new high speed railway is supporting 9,000 jobs around the country.

The news comes as work on the route from London to Birmingham continues to gather pace, with activity on over 250 work sites.

Over 2,000 firms across the UK now have contracts with HS2, 70% of them SMEs and 98% of them British. At peak construction, over 30,000 people will be needed to design and build the railway. Since Royal Assent in 2017, there have been 324 apprenticeships within HS2 Ltd and the supply chain.

Activity across the first phase of the route is part of HS2’s enabling works. These are designed to prepare the way for viaducts, embankments, stations and ultimately the railway line itself. Works include land clearance, demolitions, tree planting, archaeology, utility diversions, and environmental mitigations, and much of this is centred around HS2’s new station sites in Birmingham, Old Oak Common and Euston.

Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said:

Delivering HS2 is a manifesto commitment. Today’s announcement shows HS2 is happening and is yet another example of how this government is making sure Britain works for everyone, delivering jobs and growth across the country.

And this is just the beginning. At its peak HS2 will directly provide 30,000 jobs not only on the route but across the UK and when ready will deliver the vital extra capacity – both new intercity capacity and in the space it releases for freight and intra-urban commuter services on existing lines – and connections needed to not only drive productivity growth but to deliver regeneration across the Midlands, North of England and beyond.

Mark Thurston, Chief Executive of HS2 Ltd, said:

HS2 is more than a railway, it’s also an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy for the country. The jobs and skills that we will create in every corner of the country will give us an industry to be proud of, and one that we can export to other countries.

As work gathers pace on the project, the jobs and opportunities for British businesses to get involved mean the benefits are here and now. Britain once led the world in railway engineering, and it can once again be at its forefront through HS2.

Matthew Fell, Chief UK Policy Director at CBI, said:

HS2 is a critical piece of national infrastructure, central to the country’s future prosperity. It offers a golden opportunity to boost economies across the North and Midlands, creating thousands of new jobs – both during construction and for years to come – by attracting investment from home and abroad.

The Curzon Street site in Birmingham

This site, which will be the home of the city’s new landmark station, is spearheading multi-million pound investment and regeneration proposals as a result of HS2’s arrival. The station site, and surrounding Eastside district, which offers the first glimpse of the city for millions of passengers arriving by train, is filled with cranes and plant operatives preparing the way for its new lease of life.

  • Work at the Curzon Street site carried out by LM (Laing O’Rourke and J Murphy & Sons Ltd) has transformed the area in preparation for Birmingham’s brand new HS2 station.
  • The site spans 25,000 square metres, and 20,000 tonnes of concrete have been broken up, crushed and ready to be re-used on site.
  • The crushed concrete has been levelled to provide a working platform for archaeological investigations and remediation. It will be left as such until the site is developed at a later date.
  • Two buildings are being demolished at the site of the former Unite student accommodation which covers an area of 3,000 square metres. This will yield around 30,000 tonnes of material, with works being undertaken by the Birmingham-based demolitions firm, DSM.

Washwood Heath in Birmingham

Signs that Birmingham is getting HS2-ready continue 2.5 miles away in Washwood Heath, as another Midlands firm Total Reclaims Demolition makes way for HS2’s new train maintenance depot.

  • The immense old site of the Alstom Rail Depot is 110,282 square metres – the size of 15 football pitches – and will yield 412,000 tonnes of material that will be recycled.
  • With 50,000 hours of labour required to clear the site, the team is now 75% of the way through the work programme.
  • Situated in the heart of one of Birmingham’s most deprived wards and constituencies, the site has been neglected for almost 15 years.
  • The new depot will play a pivotal role in regenerating the area, and once complete over 500 jobs will provide opportunities for local people.
  • Through HS2 Ltd’s supply chain, 12 local residents have already been supported into jobs through early works contractor LM-JV and security firm Servest.

Euston station

Across the capital, more than two thirds of demolitions have now been completed, with more than 1,000 people at work on the project.

  • In Euston, the area surrounding the existing station is transforming at a pace, with 2 high rise towers which dominated the area in front of the station currently being demolished, ready for the extensive remodelling of the station.
  • The 6 month demolition of the former Ibis hotel on Cardington Street has been completed, removing almost 9,000 tonnes of material with 95% set to be recycled or reused on site.
  • The clearance of the nearby disused National Temperance Hospital buildings was delivered in 2 stages, with the second half, the Insull wing, now also complete.
  • Both projects were delivered by HS2’s enabling works contractor, a Costain and Skanska joint venture (CSjv), working with subcontractors Keltbray.

Old Oak Common

Demolition of the former railway sheds at Old Oak Common is now well underway, alongside earth remediation and general clearance of the 1 kilometre long site, ready for the construction of HS2’s West London super-hub.

  • The site of our future London Rail Logistics Hub at Willesden, West London, has now been completely cleared.
  • The vast 150,000 metre squared rail hub is expected to process more than 6 million tonnes of excavated material from the London tunnels – taking the equivalent of 300,000 HGVs off the roads.
  • At nearby Victoria Road, a 42,000 square metre site has been cleared, a space equivalent to the size of 6 football pitches, in order to begin the build of the Victoria Road Crossover Box, a huge underground structure designed to allow trains passing through the London tunnels to switch tracks.
  • The government has already awarded £250 million to kick start further development of the area. The Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation is driving a regeneration programme on the back of the HS2 and Elizabeth line hub that will see 65,000 jobs and 25,000 homes on the 650ha development site.