After many challenges, HS2 has announced it hit some milestones.
The Chiltern tunnel, a vital part of the rail network, stated that two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) completed 75% of their excavations for the project.
The TBMs were initiated during the summer of 2021 by the Align joint venture consisting of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick.
Substantial progress has been achieved on the 13.5km Northolt tunnel in London, connecting Old Oak Common to West Ruislip. The initial 1.6km of this twin-bore tunnel has been successfully excavated, and its anticipated completion is in 2025.
The tunnel construction is supervised by the Skanska Costain Strabag joint venture.
Looking ahead, two extra TBMs are set for launch from the Victoria Road crossover box in Ealing in winter 2024.
The construction of over 83,000 tunnel segments is in progress at a newly established facility in Hartlepool Docks in northern England.
This facility, formerly used for constructing oil rigs, has been converted by Strabag into a cutting-edge segment production site, equipped with automation and reinforcement capabilities.
Progress on railway bridges and tunnels
HS2 also recently declared the manoeuvring of a 5,600-tonne bridge beneath the Coventry to Leamington line. Using specialized jacks designed by Freyssinet, the bridge was positioned onto a guiding raft slab and shifted 47m into position.
This bridge, while initially serving the purpose of facilitating HS2 train movement, will first be used by construction vehicles to ease road traffic in the area.
Similar successful bridge sliding operations have been performed at other locations, including Lichfield and Streethay.
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