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

All aboard Carillion gets a lifeline

All aboard Carillion gets a lifeline

The demolitions were revealed as the DfT confirmed the final route of the Manchester and Leeds sections of HS2, which will extend the high-speed line being built from London to Birmingham.

HS2 has defended the appointment of Carillion for a contract awarded today, saying it sought assurances from the construction firm's joint venture partners before confirming the announcement.

Transport secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the deals which will see the route reach Birmingham by 2026.

Costain said HS2 has said it may award Costain two main work civil construction - S1 and S2 - packages, under a joint venture. This will cut journey times to London from the north of England and Scotland in 2027, six years earlier than planned.

Phase 2b from Crewe to Manchester, and Birmingham to the East Midlands and Leeds, is due to open in 2033. This includes working with HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, the station design contract victor and local authorities to deliver a unified masterplan to unlock the full potential of the area.

Grayling said: "This is a hugely important step in the construction of Britain's new railway".

"HS2 will deliver vital links between some of our country's biggest cities, helping to drive economic growth and productivity in the north and midlands".

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"I call for the resumption of the peace talks between Israel and Palestine, based on a two-state solution", said Macron. It was the first commemoration of this kind to be attended by an Israeli prime minister.

He added: "By building a whole new railway line for high-speed intercity connections, we will free up local services, meaning more comfort, more seats and more trains for passengers across the North and the Midlands".

He said people with homes and business affected by the rail route would receive "appropriate support and are treated with fairness, compassion and respect".

Other HS2 winners include British companies Costain and Balfour Beatty, while the combined contracts are expected to support 16,000 jobs. "The next phase of HS2 should bring jobs and investment to the parts of Britain that need them most".

"We expect the United Kingdom government's objective of generating economic growth through investing in infrastructure to continue creating opportunities for us to grow our business", interim CEO Keith Cochrane said in a statement. In a media interview Monday, Grayling rejected a weekend report by a quantity surveyor who claimed HS2 will cost nearly double the current estimate, taking the final bill to over 130 billion USA dollars.

Joe Rukin of the Stop HS2 campaign said: "The case for HS2 has been invented by the very cheerleaders who intend to rake in billions of taxpayers' money which is desperately needed elsewhere, so it really is time to ditch this huge white elephant before it is too late".

Campaigners have called for the original route to be backed, with residents on Mexborough's Shimmer estate protesting that the so-called "M18 route" will go through their homes or pass within yards.

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