Phase 1 HS2 Construction Timeline | When Will Your Skills Be Needed?

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by Rebekah Valero-Lee on


As the UK’s largest infrastructure project, HS2 naturally provokes many questions in the contractor community. Our social media channels have been inundated with requests from our candidate community asking if and when their skills will be needed to work on the project. This blog aims to answer these queries, outlining the HS2 construction timeline for Phase One, illustrating which skills will be needed when, from 2017 until 2026.

The HS2 construction timeline set out by HS2 and the UK Government, suggests that the Phase One route (London to Birmingham) will take approximately 8 years, from site clearance to railway installation. This will be followed by a period of testing and commissioning before the first services start running in 2026.

Interestingly, the timeline shows that HS2 Phase One will only experience active construction for approximately two years prior to railway installation (in areas where there are no major structures).

Read on to find out when and where your skills will be needed on HS2. The key phases of the HS2 construction timeline are outlined below:hs2 construction timeline

  1. Site clearance

Including enabling works, utility diversion and demolition of buildings, candidates will be required who have experience to clear the site ready for construction.

Est. date: now

Contracts awarded:

  • Area South – CS JV (Costain Group Plc, Skanska Construction UK Limited)
  • Area Central – Fusion JV (Morgan Sindall Construction & Infrastructure Ltd, BAM Nuttall Limited, Ferrovial Agroman (UK) Limited)
  • Area North – LM JV (Laing O’Rourke Construction Limited, J. Murphy & Sons Limited)

Skills required:

  • Archaeologists
  • Labourers
  • Establishing site compounds
  • Utility diversion
  • Ecology surveyors
  • Demolition
  • Ground remediators
  • Highways realignment
  • Monitoring and instrumentation
  • Structural reinforcement
  • Drainage work
  1. Earthworks

Once the site is prepared, the nominated undertaker will start earthworks that will include excavating cuttings, building embankments and starting tunnel construction.

Est. date: now

Contracts awarded:

  • SCS JV (Skanska Construction UKLtd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)

Skills required:

  • Plant operatives
  • Bricklayers
  • Surveyors
  • Construction professionals
  1. Civil engineering

With the general line of route established, building will start on the structures to support the railway. This would include bridges (over or under the railway), tunnels, viaducts, retaining walls and stations.

Est. date: 2019

Contracts awarded:

Area South

  • S1: Euston Tunnels and Approaches – SCS JV (Skanska Construction UKLtd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)
  • S2: Northolt Tunnels – SCS JV (Skanska Construction UK Ltd, Costain Ltd, STRABAG AG)

Area Central

  • C1: Chiltern Tunnels and Colne Valley Viaduct – Align JV (Bouygues Travaux Publics, VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
  • C2: North Portal Chiltern Tunnels to Brackley – CEK JV (Carillion Construction Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)
  • C3: Brackley to South Portal of Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel – CEK JV (Carillion Construction Ltd, Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)

Area North

  • N1: Long Itchington Wood Green Tunnel to Delta Junction and Birmingham Spur – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)
  • N2: Delta Junction to WCML Tie-In – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group Ltd, VINCI Construction Grands Projets, VINCI Construction UK Ltd, VINCI Construction Terrassement)

Skills required:

  • Civil engineers
  • Architects
  • Civils operatives
  • Project management
  • Plant operatives
  • Construction trade supervisors
  • Building envelope specialists
  • Scaffolders
  • Plant mechanics/fitters
  1. Railway installation

Finally, with the track bed prepared, the nominated undertaker will install the railway systems, including ballast, slab, tracks, signalling and the power supply. This stage will also include the final finishes to station buildings.

Est. date: 2020 onwards

Contracts awarded:

As above

Skills required:

  • P-way
  • Overhead line electrification
  • Signalling
  • Telecommunications
  • Traction power
  • Electrical trades and installation
  • Roofers
  • Plasterers
  • Glazers
  • Floorers
  • Painters and decorators
  1. System testing and commissioning

The railway will be fully tested to ensure it can operate safely and reliably. Testing and commissioning will allow operational procedures to be tested and refined alongside the training of staff.

Est. Date:

The period of testing and commissioning is expected to extend over four years, commencing in 2022 and completing in 2026.


Testing will start on the section of route closest to the route-wide network control centre at Washwood Heath depot in Birmingham.

Skills required:

  • Health and safety operatives
  • Mechanical and electrical personnel
  • Test and commissioning operatives 
  1. Commencement of services

On current plans, passenger services for Phase One are expected to commence from 2026.

For jobs outlined on our HS2 construction timeline, look no further than our rail jobs listings, we’d love to have you on board!

Cx Jobs

Data Cabling Engineer - Salisbury Area x 2

Morson International require 2 x experienced Data Cabling Engineer's to cover from 1st Feb - 8 weeks in total.MUST have your CSCS card & preferably IPAF.This position will see you doing Installation, terminating and testing of Cat6a. Please urgently apply online or email your updated CV to quade.smith-

Configuration Engineer

Configuration EngineerSouthampton - 12 month contract - Pay rate £48.50 p/h Ltd or Umbrella or £41.97 PAYE including holiday pay This role is for a Configuration Engineer based in Southampton.The role includes reviewing customer CM & PDM requirements; identifying applicable Technical, Physical and Procedural controls and defining associated requirements; authoring Configuration Management plans; conducting, documenting and managing configuration control boards where required and helping to develop and manage robust product design and build standard control. Key Responsibility AreasManaging CM related activates required by the company PDM system (Team Centre)Definition of Configuration requirements derived from Customer requirements, Company requirements and emergent properties of the design.Liaising with all areas of the business on project CM related issues.Producing CM related metrics at project level to feed into CM at a functional level. Skills, Qualifications & Knowledge RequiredHighly skilled in the knowledge of CM Management & Planning activities.Fully versed with the requirements of international CM & experienced in the development of such through interaction with customers, partners & suppliersConfiguration Identification: Highly knowledgeable in configuration identification arena. Able to establish & apply configuration identification activities. Capable of generating & communicating the project requirements in line with the project needConfiguration Change Management: Highly knowledgeable in configuration change management.Able to represent CM and run a CCB to confirm the business impact of proposed changes, & at international CCB to present company decisions.Capable of managing conflicts in business change decisionsConfiguration Status Accounting: Knowledgeable in managing the CSA activities & understanding the importance and need for verifying requests for CSA reports.Capable of defining & managing partner & subcontractor CSA information, analysing the information & supporting the production of metrics & KPI requirementsConfiguration Verification & AuditReporting SkillsDemonstrate Honesty & IntegrityNot afraid to challenge IPTs& Senior Management on CM& PDM related issuesAble to acquire new technical knowledge on the job with strong multitasking skillsExcellent Communication & Presentation skillsStrong & pragmatic problem solving approach Additional information: Please note all candidates must be capable of gaining a UK MOD Security Clearance (SC level).

Head of Finance

Head of Finance; 3-6 month contract; £500.00 - £600.00 per day LTD; Portsmouth We are looking to recruit a Head of Finance to cover sick leave for a defence client based at Lakeside, Portsmouth. The role will involve the management of the central finance function and providing key support to the Finance Director. Duties will involve; - Management of the Business Unit Central Finance function including ensuring the success of the finance team transformation programme following the BU restructuring - Drive systems and process improvements across the finance team, including a future ERP implementation - Overseeing and managing all BU central costs - Analysing, challenging and understanding the financial results and forecasts following up with the operational finance managers to obtain explanations where appropriate - Constructively challenge business activity in order to increase profits and improve efficiencies - Manage the monthly reporting process, ensuring all deadlines are met and deliverables are accurate and complete - Manage the budgeting/forecasting process, ensuring forecasts are properly constructed and underpinned with associated detailed presentations and supporting documentation - Ensure all other reporting deadlines are met and data gathered is reviewed and challenged. - Manage all group financial queries and ensure responses are accurate and prompt - Key liaison for internal and external audits - Manage the preparation of statutory accounts and tax packs - Manage Tax queries - Regular review of the financial controls and position of the business streams within the BU The jobholder will have the ability to understand and analyse movements and variances. You will be able to prepare and present difficult and complex financial/operational information in a simple and meaningful way. Excellent people management skills are required and you will have a good knowledge of relevant accounting standards. You will be focused and able to deliver under pressure. Highly motivated and driven with a desire to drive performance improvement and efficiency. Creates a culture of team engagement, high performance and people management and actively manages poor performance. Aligns functions and resources, and deploys people and skills optimally to achieve strategic priorities. Good attention to detail is required, you will be commercially astute and a strategic thinker focused on execution. The jobholder will be numerically literate and able to understand and challenge financial numbers and manipulate financial models. Excellent written and verbal communications skills are essential. Qualifications: - Qualified ACCA/CIMA/ACA or considerable PQE - Advanced Excel skills - Willing to occasionally travel to other UK sites as required Please note the pay rate advertised is a LTD rate. Morson is acting as an employment business in relation to this vacancy. CIMA; ACCA; FCCA; ACMA; GCMA; ACA; AAT; project accountant; management accountant; reporting accountant; finance manager; finance controller; FPA; forecasting; audits;

Project Manager (Construction)

An opportunity has arisen for a Project/Site Manager with knowledge and experience within Construction to join the team with our prestigious client BAEJob Description In accordance with the to be agreed "Statement of Work (SoW)", the opportunity presented is for our FM professionals to take on the roles required during the design, construction and acceptance, inclusive of site preparation, service diversion and mobilisation. The key roles include Manage the conversion of customers User Requirements and Project objectives into a suitable RIBA Design Communicate and obtain the required approvals at each stage of the project Support the undertaking of the required commercial and pricing exercises Manage the Professional Services team in the delivery of the Project objectives Manage the interface between the Station representatives and Project Manage and maintain the relationships between the DE&S customer and BAE Systems in relation to the facilities element of the project Monitor and support the required SHE objectives of the construction elements on Station Provide a focal point for BAE Systems regards all things Construction related, for the Station Provide Facilities governance and oversight of the Construction elements of the work Manage the interface of Construction activities and Station operations in support of the project objectives (eg: utilities connections, traffic mgt, security, environmental, quality mgt, FOD Mgt, etc.) Review the RIBA 4 Design process within the Design & Build contract with the Construction Contractor, Technical Advisors team, Clerk of Works and relevant Subject Matter Experts (SME's) Support the required accreditation process of the Security elements of the project Review and advise on the development of the individual Construction & Operational Plans in support of the contract Review and advise on the development of the Handover, Acceptance and Approvals Plan, required in association with the Station, Customer and Maintenance organisation needs. Recognising the restricted nature of the work there is a requirement for the candidate to be eligible to obtain Security Clearance for this role.

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