Shortlist announced to supply and operate HS2’s mass transit system at Interchange Station

HS2 Ltd today (31 January 2024) confirmed the shortlisted bidders to operate and maintain the assets required for the new mass transit system at Interchange station in Solihull.

The contracts will require the winning bidder to work with HS2 Ltd to deliver the Automated People Mover (APM) and maintain its cable system operation for a 25-year period.

The following bidders will be invited to tender:

  • Doppelmayr Cable Car UK Limited
  • POMA S.A.S

The APM network is a vital component of the HS2 project. Its four stops connect HS2’s Interchange station, the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), Birmingham International station, and Birmingham Airport, enabling it to reliably serve both international and national visitors, commuters, and the wider leisure market.

The APM is designed to accommodate a minimum of 2,100 people per hour in each direction, with future capacity provision for 3,900 people. Passengers can look forward to an accessible and environmentally friendly ride, with an end to end journey time of just six minutes.

Andrew Cubitt, HS2’s Procurement and Supply Chain Director said:

“We’re delighted to announce the shortlisted bidders, which takes us a step closer to delivering this vital connectivity boost to the HS2 network.

“This clean, green, transport solution will prove invaluable to the millions of people that will use it for onward business and leisure travel, or to access the excellent variety of events and entertainment on offer at the NEC and Resorts World.”

As the route traverses the M42 and West Coast Main Line, the People Mover will be built on a viaduct to minimise impacts to the existing major road and rail network.

Piers ranging in height from six to 14 metres will be supported by a series of structural columns that repeat at nominal spans of 40 metres. The columns range in type to accommodate the APM’s varying single track, twin track and split track infrastructure. A maintenance facility will also be built on site, adjacent to HS2’s Interchange Station.

Interchange station will be the catalyst for huge growth plans in Solihull, creating an economic transformation for the region. The station is at the centre of the plans for the £3.2bn Arden Cross mixed-use commercial and residential destination which will support up to 27,000 jobs and deliver up to 3,000 homes and 557,500 m2 of commercial space.

This forms part of Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council’s wider UK Central Hub area, which will support 70,000 jobs, 8,000 homes and 650,000m2 (7,000,000 sq ft) of commercial space, generating £6.2bn GVA per year and bringing 1.3m people in the region to within a 45-minute public transport commute of the station.

Sean Butler, HS2’s Senior Project Manager for the Automated People Mover said:

“We’re progressing towards appointing the APM system and service contractor that will work with HS2 to deliver this vital piece of infrastructure, which provides a huge boost to Solihull MBC, Birmingham Airport and the NEC Group’s growth plans.

“Reaching this major step in the project plan is testament to the collaboration and dedication of every one of our partners for whom the APM is so vital.”

​Market engagement for the design and build contract for the APM’s infrastructure is due to start later this year. The procurement for this work, starting with the pre-qualification of potential tenderers, is due to be released in the second quarter of 2025.