Austrian construction group PORR in joint venture with Aggregate Industries has secured the major fabrication contract.
Using a modular construction system known as Slab Track Austria, the concrete slab track will be manufactured offsite at a new purpose-built factory near Shepton Mallet in Somerset before being transported to site. This will sustain 500 new jobs during the contract.
Once installed, the rails will then fitted onto the slab track.
HS2’s procurement and commercial director, David Poole said: “Slab track will provide long-term value for money with lower maintenance costs and greater reliability.”
PORR is one of Austria’s leading engineering companies and one of the first companies in the world to develop a slab track system.
Its slab track system has been used to lay more than 780km of track worldwide – with its first stretch operating almost maintenance-free since being laid in Langenlebern, Austria, in 1989.
The new factory is planned to be built at an existing Aggregate Industries site in Somerset.
A separate Track Systems contractor – due to be appointed in 2022 – will have overall responsibility for managing and coordinating the design and installation of the complex rail systems in each section of the route.
This includes the installation of the slab track manufactured by the PORR consortium and the interface with signalling and overhead power supply.
Separate specialist contractors will also deliver the rails, switches and crossings, high voltage power supply, communications and mechanical and electrical systems.