HS2 takes 100,000 HGV journeys off road network with railhead projects

HS2 Ltd has managed to transport over 1M.t of construction material by train to its Buckinghamshire sites to help take 100,000 HGV journeys off the UK road network, the body has said. Utilising the rail network, HS2 Ltd made 583 train deliveries over an 18 month period to three locations around Calvert and Aylesbury, which allowed up to 11,399t of CO2 emissions to be shaved from the total carbon emissions of the high speed rail project. A large amount of aggregate was transported from quarries in the west of England, taking 180 trains to the first railhead, which was opened at Calvert in late 2020.

Since the opening of the first railhead new locations were opened to increase the scope of rail deliveries. The work is being managed by contractor EKFB - a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall. The freight trains were operated by DB Cargo and Hanson and coordinated by rail freight specialist Fishbone.

HS2 project client Rohan Perin said: "We are serious about reducing the impact of construction on the local community and every freight train delivering material to site is the equivalent of around 70 trucks that would otherwise be on local roads. "HS2 will offer zero carbon journey for passengers, but it's also important that we drive down the amount of embedded carbon in construction. We've been working closely with Network Rail, EKFB and the Freight Operators for a number of years to make deliveries by rail possible and it's great to see that our freight trains have now passed the one million tonne mark."

Across the whole High Speed 2 (HS2) project, 15,000 freight trains are set to haul 10M.t of aggregate to construction sites - taking the equivalent of 1.5M HGVs off the UK's roads. Head of EKFB logistics and security Chris Barton said: "The EKFB logistics team always strives to optimise deliveries where possible and the material by rail strategy is central to that. "With the support of our partners, Fishbone Solutions, Hanson, DB Cargo, RFS and Mendip Rail, this strategy has allowed EKFB to remove a substantial number of vehicles from the roads adjacent to the construction sites and critically reduce the impacts on local communities, but also transform how we manage logistics on this project.

"It is no small task and we are all immensely proud of our achievements so far, and we now look forward to the next million tons."

The construction milestone comes as HS2 continues to make significant progress across the county. The two tunnelling machines excavating the Chiltern tunnel have both dug almost 4.8km and construction has begun on the first "green tunnel" at Chipping Warden.