Press release

HS2 ‘Vision into reality’ technical seminar - Birmingham 10 December

14 November 2013

The Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), Parsons Brinckerhoff and HS2 Ltd, are collaborating on a regional programme of knowledge dissemination on high speed rail across the UK.  The next event will be held in Birmingham on 10 December 2013 and follows a similar event in London at the Royal Academy in September.

The programme provides a forum to discuss both the technical solutions, challenges and innovations being developed for the project, and the broader benefits to the regions in terms of increased capacity, connectivity and economic growth. Further events are planned in 2014 at Manchester, Leeds, the East Midlands, and Scotland and the North East.

Andrew McNaughton, Technical Director for HS2 Ltd and a keynote speaker at the Birmingham event, explains:  “The need for a new high speed line has never been greater. HS2 isn’t all about speed; it is about capacity, connectivity, reliability and growth. If we don’t do anything now, the West Coast Mainline will be full by the mid2020s.

“Not only will HS2 transform rail travel and solve the crippling capacity crunch we are already facing, it will provide an engine for growth by creating thousands of jobs, acting as a catalyst for regeneration and helping rebalance the north-south economy.”

Birmingham - High Speed Rail – Vision into Reality is being held at the IET’s Austin Court building in the heart of the City. It is targeted at railway industry professionals, transport providers, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), regional training organisations and larger regional business organisations.

The event will highlight the benefits HS2 will bring to Birmingham and the Midlands, and will particularly focus on regional economic growth opportunities and their associated training and employment challenges. It will also consider the specific challenges and technical issues relating to the delivery of a transport project of this magnitude overall, and to the Midlands in particular.

Paula-Marie Brown, IET Sector Head for Transport, said: “The Vision into Reality events play an important role in showing the significance of engineering in the HS2 project. Politics aside, this initiative will be one of the greatest British engineering feats of modern times and I look forward to sharing knowledge and understanding in Birmingham.”
Darren Reed, Head of Rail at Parsons Brinckerhoff, which is responsible for the railway systems design for HS2, notes:  :  “Sharing knowledge and experience is a critical part of developing a project as complex as HS2. It will inspire a new generation of British engineers with its cutting edge engineering innovation – whether In its design of track alignment and structures or even its signalling, telecommunications and energy systems.”
To find out more about the Birmingham event and to register your interest in attending, visit http://www.theiet.org/events/2013/190268.cfm.

Media enquiries to:

Katie Stanton
Communications Executive

Tel: +44(0)1438 765608
Mob: +44(0)7738 713867
Email: kstanton@theiet.org

Notes to editors:

The IET is leading the development of an international engineering and technology community, sharing and advancing knowledge to enhance people’s lives. The IET is the Professional Home for Life® for engineers and technicians, and a trusted source of Essential Engineering Intelligence®.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is delivering the overall railway systems design for HS2 and is programme managing the development of California’s high speed rail programme in the US. The company has also played an integral part in delivering high speed rail systems around the world including extensive networks in Taiwan and China.

Parsons Brinckerhoff is a leader in developing and operating infrastructure around the world, with approximately 14,000 employees in 150 offices dedicated to meeting the needs of clients and communities in the Europe, Africa, the Middle East, Americas, Asia and Australia-Pacific regions. Parsons Brinckerhoff offers skills and resources in strategic consulting, planning, engineering, program/construction management, and operations for all modes of infrastructure, including transportation, power, buildings and infrastructure, mining, water and the environment. (www.pbworld.com).

HS2 Ltd is the company responsible for developing and promoting the first phase of the high speed rail network from London to the West Midlands. It is undertaking the engineering, design and environmental work for this.
Parliament will need to give permission to build and operate HS2 through a specific type of bill, called a hybrid bill. The bill for the first phase of HS2 is planned to start its process through Parliament by the end of 2013. HS2 Ltd is responsible for the work to enable the Department for Transport to deposit a hybrid bill with Parliament by the end of 2013.

In 2012, HS2 Ltd submitted proposals to the Secretary of State for the second part of the network from the West Midlands to Leeds and Manchester. The Government announced its initial preferred route to Leeds and Manchester on 28 January 2013. The initial preferred route for this second phase of the network will form the basis of a public consultation.

HS2 Ltd is a company wholly owned by the Department for Transport (DfT).