How VolkerStevin helped deliver the ‘UK’s longest railway bridge’


VolkerStevin has delivered critical access routes in the construction of the ‘longest railway bridge in the UK’. 

Colne Valley Viaduct
Credit: HS2
by Rory ButlerFebruary 21, 2023

The firm was appointed by Align JV to construct four separate jetties on the Colne Valley Viaduct – a more than 3.4 km structure that will bear the new high-speed rail line (HS2) across a series of lakes and waterways near Hillingdon.   

When finished, the viaduct will be 100m longer than Dundee’s Tay Bridge, which currently holds the UK’s longest railway bridge title. 

It will carry HS2 between London and Birmingham. 

Scope of works 

Volker constructed four separate 10m-wide double carriageway jetties to provide access over water for plant, equipment and materials in areas that would otherwise be inaccessible.  

The jetties have an overall length of 990m, consisting of 326 tubular piles. 

The scope of works was then extended to include 57 cofferdams (an enclosure built within a body of water) and various retaining walls. 

This and the jetties helped teams construct the permanent viaduct piers. In total, more than 3,200 linear metres of sheet piling was installed. 

More than 500m of the Colne Valley Viaduct is now standing, roughly 10m above the water. It represents almost two years of work. 

The team  

  • Align JV: Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, VolkerFitzpatrick  
  • KVJV: Keller Group, VSL International 
  • VolkerGround Engineering   
  • VolkerSite Services 

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