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Event round up: Business Breakfast with Simon Kirby

News and ViewsNewsEvent round up: Business Breakfast with Simon Kirby
Angus Walker

Angus Walker

Partner

Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) held a successful Business Breakfast with Simon Kirby, HS2’s Chief Executive Officer. The audience heard Simon talk about the benefits and future of high-speed rail across the country. Simon spoke about how the project could rebalance the economy by helping the North to reach its full potential and enabling sustainable growth in London.

Simon explained that the project was using a number of innovations so that it can build a world-class railway whilst giving value for money. First, was extensive and early collaboration with the industry prior to construction. Simon explained the second innovation was to have a modern design philosophy which entails designing the train service and infrastructure together so they are both fit for purpose. Finally, Simon noted that HS2 was one of the first public infrastructure projects to use ‘Building Information Modelling’ (BIM) Level 2.

BIM is a collaborative way of working, underpinned by the digital technologies, which leads to more efficient methods of design and construction.
HS2’s legacy would not just be in railways, Simon said, but also in the fundamental change in the ‘economic geography’ of the country as well as improving the skill sets of workers. To this end, the National College for High Speed Rail which will specialise in training for high speed occupations is being set up in Birmingham and Doncaster.
During the question and answer segment, Simon emphasised the importance of engaging with local communities. Moreover, whilst his focus was ensuring that Phase 1 and Phase 2 would be completed, he said the potential for new East-West connections continues to be investigated.

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