United Kingdom awards $8.7 billion worth of contracts for 250mph rail line


"These contracts will support 16,000 jobs here in Britain and will create opportunities for thousands of SMEs".

The announcement injected some life back into the firm's battered share price on Monday - a week after its chief executive quit when Carillion admitted an £845m hit to its finances.

A partnership featuring Carillion has been commissioned for two of the projects.

A formal decision on the route of the London to Leeds route is due to be announced this afternoon.

A number of foreign firms were successful in bidding for the HS2 contracts, including Swedish-based Skanska, French company Bouygues Travaux and Austria's Strabag.

But this could see new homes in nearby Mexborough being pulled down, with numerous estate's residents finding out about the possibility just weeks after moving in.

Transport Secretary Chris Grayling said: "This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britain's new railway and underlines this government's determination to deliver an economy that works for all".

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Changing the alignment of the route on the approach to Manchester Piccadilly station to improve the operational efficiency of the station and avoid direct residential impacts and a primary school.

Alongside the contracts for Phase One construction, invitations for tender for the design of the four new stations have now also been released. The government has also asked HS2 Ltd to take forward the provision of a northern junction back on to the high-speed line, which could help deliver a connection between Leeds and Sheffield city centres in less than 30 minutes as part of Northern Powerhouse Rail.

The other big winners were listed builder Costain, whose consortium with Austria's Strabag and Gherkin builder Skanska has won two deals worth £1.85 billion in total for tunnelling works taking the route from Euston to Old Oak Common and out to the M25.

Mr Grayling said the Government will ensure communities affected by the railway receive "appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect".

The Transport Secretary will today publish a bill to deliver the next phase of HS2, from the West Midlands to the West Coast Main Line south of Crewe.

This comes amid concerns about the HS2 project as a whole, with campaigners from Stop HS2 claiming that costs will double to £111bn.

Further south, the track will travel through Long Eaton on a high-level viaduct next to the existing railway line. "Building HS2 will create vital new capacity on our rail lines, giving inter-city customers a faster and more reliable service and freeing up space on local lines, making everybody's journeys more comfortable and convenient".