One Million Miles of Lorry Movements Removed by HS2

Posted: 17 October 2023 | | No comments yet

HS2’s move to using rail for the transportation of their construction materials removed one million miles of lorry movements from the road.

HS2 has removed one million miles of lorry movements. This is due to using rail for the delivery of tunnel ring segments to the West Ruislip Portal site. 

Since February 2023, HS2’s London tunnels contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, has received deliveries of the tunnel ring segments by freight train, rather than by road. An option which became available once the two Tunnel Boring Machines, named Sushila and Caroline, had been launched and space to access the rail head on site became available.

HS2 is committed to responsible construction and using the rail network as much as possible to deliver materials. By using freight routes to deliver tunnel ring segments manufactured by Pacadar to our West Ruislip tunnelling site, thousands of lorry movements will not be required,” Pat Cawley, HS2’s Director for On Network Works, said.

It is expected that 400 freight trains will be used to deliver the tunnel segments over the period when the tunnel is being constructed. It is anticipated that this will reduce the carbon impact of the logistics operation by approximately 2,250 tonnes, all part of how HS2 and its contractors, are approaching construction in an environmentally sustainable way.

Pacadar UK, based at Thamesport on the Isle of Grain in Kent, is manufacturing the tunnel ring segments for the Northolt Tunnel West, producing 60,000 segments which will form 8,400 rings, for 5 miles of twin-bored tunnel. The Pacadar factory is strategically located to enable deliveries to take place by rail freight.

“Overall, across the life of our partnership with Pacadar, we’re projected to reduce our carbon impact by 2,250 tonnes,” James Richardson, Managing Director of Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, said.

“When construction, manufacturing and rail freight industries work together to maximise transport efficiency, we save money, achieve reduced emissions, cut lorry traffic, and strengthen our industry-wide commitment to achieving a cleaner, greener, low-carbon future,” he added.

Over 120 trains have now completed the journey between the Isle of Grain and West Ruislip, with an average of five trains per week delivering the tunnel ring segments. Each train delivers 144 segments, which when installed underground, makes up over twenty tunnel rings.

HS2 Ltd and its contractors are working closely with Network Rail and the UKs leading freight operators to move materials needed for construction using the rail network.

Early in 2024, two further TBMs will begin their journey to complete the Northolt Tunnel – an 8.4mile tunnel being constructed by a quartet of machines. STRABAG will be manufacturing the segment rings for the Northolt Tunnel East at a new facility in Hartlepool. From there, the 35,000 segments will also be transported by rail.

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