Ministers have announced the winning bidders to help build the first phase of HS2, awarding contracts expected to be worth £6.6bn.
The announcement covers the main civil engineering work on the first phase of the high speed rail link, between London and Birmingham - including construction of tunnels, bridges, embankments and viaducts - and is estimated to support some 16,000 jobs.
Separately, HS2 Ltd published the designers and engineers in the running for the four station design contracts on the Phase One route, as well as potential partners to take forward long-term development around London’s Euston station.
HS2 Ltd chairman David Higgins said: ‘This is a huge day for the HS2 project and for the country. These contracts will support 16,000 jobs here in Britain and will create opportunities for thousands of SMEs.’
The news comes as campaigners mounted fresh attacks on the controversial rail line amid further fears costs could spiral.
The Sunday Times reported that an estimate commissioned by the Department for Transport from rail expert Michael Byng has put the cost of the entire project at £104bn, making it per mile possibly the most expensive rail line ever.
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