The UK’s High Speed 2 (HS2) has launched a search for a contractor to design, deliver and maintain around 300 lifts and escalators for four new stations.

HS2 plans to install 168 lifts and 128 escalators, which will help passengers access trains each day.

The £465m contract will be split into two different packages for lifts and escalators and the winners will be allocated to the frameworks.

The winning firms will receive the contracts next year and be responsible for the maintenance work for 20 years.

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The new stations in London and Birmingham will be zero carbon in their daily operations, and completely accessible to train from the street without steps.

Once the escalators are placed end-to-end, the combined length will exceed 3km, which is more than the Forth Rail Bridge.

The longest escalators will be installed at Old Oak Common station in west London. The escalators will transport passengers 13.5m above the subsurface platforms to the concourse level.

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The new station will be equipped with more than 50 lifts and escalators.

The new stations will be constructed to adhere to the BREEAM Excellent rating, HS2 said.

In order to receive this rating, energy-efficient lifts and escalators are essential to the stations.

HS2 will double the capacity on the main north-south rail routes in the UK and halve the time taken to travel between London, Birmingham and north of the country.

Last week, the UK Department for Transport (DfT) gave the ‘Notice to Proceed’ for the construction of HS2.

HS2 procurement and commercial director David Poole said: “The launch of this landmark contract opportunity is a major step forward in the delivery of HS2’s four iconic new railway stations.

“The lifts and escalators our partners go on to deliver will be at the heart of the operation, moving hundreds of thousands of people every day and helping us to ensure seamless journeys for everyone.

“I look forward to our team working with the suppliers who come forward and together ensuring that we deliver the best quality and value for the project.”