HS2 tunnel segments on the move from Hartlepool to London


HS2 tunnel segment

Deliveries of HS2’s tunnel segments have begun from Hartlepool, using the UK’s rail network to minimise road traffic and drastically reduce carbon emissions.


STRABAG, the company manufacturing the pre-cast concrete segments for HS2’s next London tunnel drives, opened a new state-of-the-art factory in the town earlier this year. The new factory has direct access to the rail network through a rail head that had not been used in over 15 years.


STRABAG have made a significant investment in Hartlepool, re-developing an old oil-rig fabrication site into a modern automated precast concrete facility which is initially being used to support the HS2 project in the UK. The HS2 contract has helped create over 100 jobs for local people, including a number of people who were previously unemployed.


The investment has extended to the rail head which runs alongside the factory, working with Network Rail to bring the disused line back into service and connecting it to the UK rail network.


STRABAG are also utilising the local supply chain, sourcing aggregate from local quarries and using UK recycled steel.


Malcolm Codling, Project Client Director for HS2 Ltd, said:


“As we prepare for the next set of tunnel drives in London, the start of deliveries of these vital parts is a further sign of momentum in the construction of HS2, building between London and the West Midlands.


“STRABAG’s investment in Hartlepool is an example of how HS2 is benefiting the UK economy. Reinstating the rail head demonstrates a commitment to a long term future for the factory, and supports HS2’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact through construction.”


Simon Wild, Managing Director of STRABAG UK, said:


“Following on from our multi-million pound investment into Hartlepool, we’re delighted to see the first trains leaving for London. The direct access from the factory to the rail network is a huge location advantage that enables us to reduce the number of journeys by lorry and carbon emissions.”


HS2’s London tunnels contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV), will receive the segments at is London Logistics Hub which is near to Willesden Junction. From there, the segments will be transported to Victoria Road Crossover Box in Acton.


The segments will be used to construct the Northolt Tunnel East, a 3.4-mile twin bore tunnel drive from Victoria Road in Acton to Greenford. At Greenford, the tunnel will connect to the Northolt Tunnel West, and combined will complete the 8.4-mile tunnel taking HS2 services from Old Oak Common Station to the edge of the capital.


The next two Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs), named Emily and Anne, will be launched by SCS JV in the new year. They were recently lowered into the ground using a 750-tonne crane and blessed by a local priest.


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