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HS2 launches race for operational telecoms supplier

HS2 began 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.

HS2 launches race for operational telecoms supplier

The winner of the contract - worth around £300m - will be responsible for the design, manufacture, supply, installation, safety authorisation, testing, commissioning and initial maintenance of the operational telecommunication systems and the route wide security systems on Phase One and 2a, between London and Crewe.

The scope of the work includes 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 deliver a separate contract for the provision of technical support services.

The start of the formal procurement process for this third set of ‘rail systems’ contracts follows on from the recent launch of the contests for track systems and command and control systems and the government’s go ahead for the start of civils work, including tunnels, bridges and viaducts.

HS2 Ltd’s 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, WiFi 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.

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