As many people call HS2 a ‘southern project’, benefitting Birmingham and London in its first phase, it is interesting to note that a firm from Carlisle has played a key role in the project’s delivery so far.
XYZ Rail and Civils has a proud 20-year history, having supported some of the UK’s largest rail and civils projects to date. It is now one of 2,000 businesses to have won work on Europe’s biggest engineering project and the team from Cumbria is proud of its involvement and achievements to date.
The firm was awarded a £500,000 contract with HS2’s enabling works contractor, Fusion joint venture, and was tasked with installing over 60,000 metres of fencing in readiness for ecology and construction works in the Chilterns counties of Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
The company’s 35 plus-strong team delivered its programme of work on budget and ahead of schedule in just six months, allowing HS2’s main civils works in the area, which include preparatory works for a 10-mile tunnel 90 metres beneath the ground, to commence as planned.
Stephen Pinkney, programme delivery director at XYZ Rail and Civils said: “I am immensely proud of the successes our HS2 Enabling team have contributed to in the past few months and how this has enabled the ongoing delivery of the works.
“The level of focus and ingenuity from everyone in the face of adversity has been outstanding. Looking back in years to come, the whole team will see how the experience gained on the contract, generally as well as in response to working during a pandemic, has helped to shape and accelerate their career”.
The firm, which employs 130 staff, is hopeful that the smooth delivery of its first work package on the HS2 project will place it in a strong position to secure more contract opportunities going forward.
Last month, HS2’s main works construction partners and station contractors launched £12 billion of supply chain opportunities to support construction of the Birmingham – London section of the new railway. The contracts will be let over the next 18 months and vary in size with work packages ranging between £5,000 and £200 million.
Mark Thurston, HS2’s CEO, commented: “HS2 is continuing to bring more and more companies onto the project, creating thousands of jobs across Britain.
“We’re unlocking billions of pounds worth of new contract opportunities, providing thousands of businesses and their employees with guaranteed incomes, and helping the country’s economic recovery in these uncertain times. I’m delighted that business in Cumbria are engaging with us to find out how they can benefit”.
Royal Assent for construction of the high speed line north of Birmingham and into Crewe (known as Phase 2a) is expected in the New Year. This will improve journey times to northern cities sooner, as well as opening more supply chain opportunities for British businesses to benefit from. It is estimated that HS2 will create 400,000 supply chain opportunities during phase one of the project.