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Phase One: London to West Midlands

What is HS2 Phase One?

Phase One of HS2 will see a new high speed railway line constructed from London to the West Midlands, where it will re-join the existing West Coast Mainline. Services will travel onwards to places like Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Preston and Wigan. Phase One will open between 2029 and 2033.

The new line between will run on 140 miles of dedicated track.  Four brand new stations and two new depots will also be built. 25,300 workers will be needed to complete construction.

Facts and figures

Over 20,000 jobs are supported by HS2, with more big contracts and employment opportunities to come. They will be constructing a railway that will be a feat of British engineering. The Phase One route will have more miles of tunnels than Crossrail and a bridge longer than the Forth Rail Bridge.


The London to West Midlands part of the HS2 route will have 64 miles of tunnel.

  • Euston Tunnel – a 4.5 mile tunnel that will take passengers from Euston station to Old Oak Common station.
  • Northolt Tunnel – an 8.4 mile tunnel under London that will take passengers from Old Oak Common to West Ruislip.
  • Chiltern Tunnel – the longest and deepest tunnel will be the Chiltern tunnel measuring 10 miles (16km) long and will go as deep as 90 metres.
  • Long Itchington Wood Tunnel – a short 1 mile long tunnel under Long Itchington Wood, preserving this ancient woodland.
  • Bromford Tunnel – a 3.5 mile twin-bore tunnel situated just outside Birmingham.

Find out more about HS2 tunnels


HS2 will build four new stations as part of construction of the route between London and the West Midlands.

  • Curzon Street Station in Birmingham
  • Interchange Station in Solihull
  • Old Oak Common Station in West London
  • Euston Station in London

Find out more about these stations, and others served by HS2 services.

Viaducts and bridges

  • Over 500 bridging structures will be constructed under and over the route.
  • Over 50 viaducts measuring about 9 miles (15km) in length will be built.
  • The UK’s longest viaduct will cross the Colne Valley. It will be over two miles (3.4km) long, which is 0.6 miles longer than the Forth Rail Bridge.
  • Delta Junction outside Birmingham is 5.9 miles (9.5km) long and consists of 7 bridges and viaducts spanning 3 rail lines, 8 roads, 5 rivers and canals and the M6.

Cuttings and embankments

  • Over 70 cuttings will be excavated, measuring over 44 miles (72km) in total.
  • The longest is the Calvert Cutting at 2.5 miles (4.1km) with a maximum depth of 9.7m.
  • The deepest is Lower Thorpe Cutting at 30.5m deep.
  • Over 110 embankments, measuring about 38 miles (61km) long , will be constructed.
  • The longest embankment will be Grendon Underwood at 1.8 miles (3km) long.


There are three main benefits of HS2:

  • Capacity – taking inter-city trains off the existing rail network will free up more space for commuter and freight services, helping to relieve overcrowding and take lorries off the road.
  • Connectivity – better transport links between our cities and regions is bringing more investment to the Midlands and North, helping to level up the country.
  • Carbon – HS2 will be the low carbon option for long distance travel, emitting 17 times less carbon than the equivalent domestic flight and 7 times less carbon than the equivalent car journey.

More information about HS2 Phase One construction

Early works and main contractors

Main contractors and early works contractors

Main contractors

The  joint ventures (JV) contractors are:

  • Birmingham to Leamington Spa – BBV JV (Balfour Beatty Group, Vinci Construction UK Ltd.)
  • Chiltern Tunnels and associated work – Align JV (Bouyges Travaux Publics, Volkerfitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine)
  • Leamington Spa to M25 –  EKFB JV (Eiffage Genie Civil SA, Kier Infrastructure and Overseas Ltd)
  • Within M25 – SCS JV (Costain Group Plc, Skanska Construction UK Ltd, STRABAG)

Visit the HS2 jobs board to find out about job opportunities with our supply chain.

Early works

  • 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)

As well as archaeology, site clearance and establishing site compounds, early works delivers a range of activities including utility diversions, ecology surveys, demolition, ground remediation, watercourse activities, highways realignments, monitoring and instrumentation, structural reinforcements and drainage work.

Careers with our supply chain

Find out more about careers in our supply chain and where our contractors are working.

Planning Forum

Planning Forum

The forum provides the opportunity for local authorities, the nominated undertaker and representatives from government departments to cooperate and carry out work for Phase One of the project.

Invitees to the forum include officers from qualifying local authorities, HS2 and the Department for Transport. Meetings are chaired by an independent Chair.

Details about the forum, its sub-groups and its minutes, back to 2013, can be found on GOV.UK

Phase One and Parliament

Learn about the Phase One Hybrid Bill and Undertakings and Assurances.

Phase One in Parliament

Other phases of HS2

Phase 2a: West Midlands to Crewe

The Phase 2a line will run between Fradley in the West Midlands and Crewe in Cheshire. There it will connect with existing high speed services to carry passengers between London and Crewe. Services will travel onward to places like Manchester, Glasgow, Liverpool, Preston and Wigan. Find out more about Phase 2a.

Phase 2b: Crewe to Manchester, West Midlands to Leeds

The Phase 2b section of the HS2 route will be delivered in two sections:

  • The Western Leg will see HS2 trains run between Crewe and Manchester, with a connection to the West Coast Main Line, serving trains on route to Scotland.
  • Subject to consultation, HS2 East will see a new high-speed line between Birmingham and the East Midlands, connecting to the existing Midland Mainline near East Midlands Parkway. Trains will then continue to central Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield on an upgraded and electrified Midland Main Line.

Find out more about Phase 2b.

HS2 construction facts Phase One   30,000 jobs at peak HS2 construction. 70% of jobs created outside London. 2,000 HS2 apprentices.  Over 50 viaducts.  Over 70 cuttings.  Over 110 embankments.  Over 150 bridges.  7 million trees and shrubs to be planted.  15,000 freight trains used taking 1.5 million construction lorries off the road.  140 miles of railway.  2 new railway depots.  4 new stations.  Over 200 construction sites.  Over 1 million tonnes of steel.  Over 2,000 cranes, dumpers, tipper trucks and excavators.  10 tunnel boring machines.  130 million tonnes of earth excavated enough to fill Wembley Stadium 15 times. 64 miles of tunnelling.  Lowest points of the railway 90 metres below ground in the Chilterns tunnel.