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HS2 chief |Crossrail experience an advantage to bidders

Experience of working on Crossrail would be a “big advantage” to the teams competing for High Speed 2 civils packages, a key figure has said.

Chris Dulake, engineering director at HS2, told NCE that the project promoter would look favourably on consortiums that could show time spent working on the trans-London line.

The deadline passed this week for expressions of interest in seven contracts that could be worth almost £12bn to work on the rapid rail link from London to the North.

Dulake – who is speaking at NCE’s Tunnelling Summit in London on 2 December – said Crossrail experience was one way of demonstrating competence for HS2 civils work.

“Where we are talking specifically about tunnelling in London clay, there is a big advantage to those who have been involved in projects like Crossrail,” he said.

“We would expect others to demonstrate competence using international experience.”

Dulake, who himself joined HS2 from Crossrail earlier this year, said he hoped to see subcontractors take key personnel between the two schemes.

“We hope the supply chain will do the same as the client organisation in keeping continuity of people to ensure continuity of lessons learnt,” he said. “You can write as much as you like but it’s down to the people who have been there as they have the confidence to apply the lessons.”

Dulake said he was confident that a strong pipeline of major projects and a focus on apprentices and training would ensure HS2 had the skilled tunnelling workforce it needs for the £43bn project.

He added that the type of tunnelling techniques to be used on the scheme were similar to those used by Crossrail, increasing confidence in the project.

“We are lucky to have major projects back to back so we can get the benefits of those efficiencies,” he said.

HS2 chief executive Simon Kirby told NCE last month that employment factors could play a big part in the selection of firms to build the London to Birmingham leg of the rapid rail link. Kirby said “ethics” would be a major factor in the first stage of this procurement process, along with safety, skills, application and innovation.

NCE Tunnelling Summit

NCE’s Tunnelling Summit on 2 and 3 December will explore major upcoming projects such as HS2, Thames Tideway Tunnel and the London Underground station upgrades programme, as well as exploring innovative projects and solutions across the industry. Attend the 2015 tunnelling conference to: Pinpoint the latest opportunities from emerging tunnelling schemes and understand what clients are looking for from prospective project partners Share best practice on the delivery of tunnelling works and reflect on the lessons learnt from major projects such as Crossrail Explore the latest innovations in techniques and technologies being applied to projects in the UK and abroad, from SCL and TBM technology to information management and in-tunnel communications

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