The companies awarded £6.6bn of contracts to build the first stage of the UK's largest-ever infrastructure project include Skanska, Balfour Beatty, Sir Robert McAlpine – and troubled construction giant Carillion.
Transport secretary Chris Grayling named the companies appointed to build the southern, central and northern sections of the line this morning. When it is built, HS2 will knock almost an hour off the travel time between London and Glasgow.
But Carillion, part of a joint venture hired to build parts of the central section of the track, became mired in controversy last week after its shares fell more than 70 per cent on poor results. Its chief executive stepped down and Carillion admitted it will take £845m of write-downs on some of its largest projects.
Shares fell from 192p at the open on Monday to as low as 55.45p on Thursday, wiping £500m off its market cap, before it recovered slightly on Friday. But shares leaped more than 20 per cent today on both HS2 and the news it has hired EY for a strategic review.
HS2 on track
Today Grayling the first phase of HS2's construction was "progressing well", with invitations to design stations and services at Euston, Old Oak Common and Birmingham issued last week.
Later today Grayling will introduce a bill to Parliament seeking powers to construct the second phase of the line, from the West Midlands to Crewe, as well as announcing decisions on the stations between Crewe and Manchester and the West Midlands and Leeds.
HS2 contracts: The full list