HS2 roundup

THE SNP’s 56 MPs are to get involved with more English issues and policies in a bid to extend the party’s influence elsewhere in the UK. Transport links between Scotland and the north of England, including the HS2 train, are among the areas the SNP intends to try to influence, The Scotsman said.

Two joint ventures are reported to be neck and neck in the battle to win the job of HS2’s £350M engineering delivery partner. They are Atkins and CH2M, and Bechtel and Jacobs.  Invitations to tender will be issued next month. 

The report on bringing high-speed rail to Scotland will be completed a year late, Scottish infrastructure secretary Keith Brown said last week. The joint study by the UK Department for Transport and Scottish Government on cutting Scotland-London journey times to under three hours was promised by the end of last year. However it will now not be published until 2016. The study is looking at extending HS2 north from Manchester and/or Leeds or upgrading the existing east and west coast main lines across the Border. It was commissioned in November 2013, with a the report promised by the end of 2014.