Several joint ventures (JV) that were previously selected as the preferred bidders have formally signed contracts for the development of High Speed Two (HS2) phase one, which is set to involve the construction of tunnels, bridges and earthworks.

SCS JV, Align JV, CEK JV and Balfour Beatty VINCI were the JVs ultimately selected for the project.

The UK Department for Transport (DfT) published the names of the winning companies for each of the contracts last month.  

The deals relate to the development of the UK's new high-speed railway from London to Birmingham, and are expected to support 16,000 jobs across the country's supply chain.

HS2 chief executive Mark Thurston said: “The contracts we sign today will provide much needed extra capacity and connectivity between our major cities, but it will also unlock huge opportunities for new jobs, homes and economic development and start to rebalance our economy.

“We are determined to deliver the project to new levels of safety and efficiency, with respect for communities, protection for the environment and value for money at the core of everything we do.”

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"We are determined to deliver the project to new levels of safety and efficiency, with respect for communities, protection for the environment and value for money."

SCS JV comprises Skanska, Costain and STRABAG, and will be responsible for the construction the route's first section, including a tunnel between Euston and Old Oak Common and towards Northolt.

Bouygues, VolkerFitzpatrick and Sir Robert McAlpine will collaborate under the Align JV to build the next stage of the project, which involves the construction of Colne Valley Viaduct and Chilterns Tunnel.

The Chilterns Tunnel and Long Itchington will be developed by a joint venture consisting of Carillion, Eiffage and Kier.

Balfour Beatty and VINCI will complete the project by constructing the line that will head north past Birmingham Airport and into the new Curzon Street station in Birmingham. The JV will also build a connection with the existing West Coast Mainline at Handsacre.

The contractors will work with the project developer HS2 to create a detailed design plan for the project during the first 16 months.

Preparatory work for the development is currently underway throughout the planned route, including geological investigation procedures,

Construction of HS2 is expected to commence from 2018 / 2019.