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HS2 stations | Inside the challenges for Arup, WSP and shortlisted contractors

euston visual

HS2 has announced the winners of its phase 1 station design contracts and the shortlisted contractors for the two London stationsNew Civil Engineer looks at the challenges and opportunities that the designers and contractors will face for each of the stations.

Arup has scooped the deal to design Euston and Birmingham Interchange stations. WSP will design Old Oak Common and Birmingham Curzon Street stations. The unsuccessful bidders were Jacobs, Mott MacDonald and Arcadis.

Shortlisted contractors for the two London stations are:


  • Costain/Skanska JV
  • Mace/Dragados JV
  • Bechtel
  • Bam Nuttall/Ferrovial Agroman JV
  • Canary Wharf Contractors/MTR/Laing O’Rourke JV

Old Oak Common

  • Balfour Beatty/Vinci/Systra JV
  • Mace/Dragados JV
  • Bechtel
  • Bam Nuttall / Ferrovial Agroman JV

The newly appointed designers will take the stations up to planning permission, when they will be handed over to the contractors to progress the design.

Both northern stations will be developed as design and build contracts.

Euston Station

Euston station is now back in the hands of its original designers Arup, after it won the latest, detailed design phase of the project. The consultant carried out the initial design work on the station from 2012 until November 2016, when the contract for the remaining part of the design was awarded to WSP.

The station will be HS2’s terminus station in London, but the scope of the challenge for the designer is not to be taken lightly. The project is the most expensive of the four stations reflecting the complex nature of the design.

In April last year, the government said the complex redevelopment would be carried out in a multi-stage process requiring ‘significant public and private sector coordination and investment’.

The HS2 part to the west of the existing station will see 11 new platforms built in two phases, almost tripling the station’s capacity. Six new platforms and a concourse area will be built to support the opening of phase 1 services in 2026 followed by five additional platforms built between 2026 and 2033 within the footprint of the existing station including an extended concourse to support phase 2 services.

The 22ha development area to the west will be split up into three sections, which are the ‘approaches’ over the tracks to the north of the station, the Over Station Zone and the Southern Development Zone.

Each area will have its own unique challenges from “substantial technical and operational interfaces” with the existing station to “complex substructural constraints” such as deep London Underground tunnels.

Old Oak Common Station

The new station at Old Oak Common has spurred one of the UK’s largest regeneration developments and will form a massive new transport hub, connecting with Crossrail, Transport for London (TfL) and Great Western Mainline (GWML) services.

The station will effectively be two stations in one. As part of the new high speed station, there will be six platforms underground but the station will also house an eight platform surface interchange station at ground level to serve both the Great West Main Line (GWML) and Crossrail.

Birmingham Curzon Street

Birmingham Curzon Street has been described as a rare opportunity to build a full new station in the centre of a city. It will be built next to the existing Moor Street Station and Bullring shopping centre on the site of the first Birmingham station which was opened in 1837, but has remained undeveloped since it was closed in 1966.

An extension to the Midland Metro will also provide a connection to Birmingham’s new tram network.

At the western (city centre) end of the station a new public plaza will be incorporated into the design of what will be the largest building in Birmingham which will house seven, 400m long high speed platforms.

In May last year, HS2 Ltd announced it would refurbish and incorporate the unused grade I listed original Curzon Street station building to house a visitor centre, exhibition space, a café and offices.

Birmingham Interchange

The new interchange station sits to the east of Birmingham city centre on Junction 6 of the M42 motorway adjacent to Birmingham Airport and the National Exhibition Centre.

It will house four new platforms and a direct link via a people-mover system to the nearby Birmingham International station, National Exhibition Centre and Birmingham Airport.

The team may also have to design the interface to a new terminal for the airport which could sit directly next to the station.

As with Old Oak Common, the new station has acted as a catalyst for regeneration in the area to the east of Birmingham city centre. Last year overarching Birmingham based regeneration body, Urban Growth Company called for the station to be redesigned from a parkway station to “something different and far bolder” to allow it to integrate into the new area more efficiently.

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