The first trains, carrying spoil removed from HS2 construction works in London, has left the HS2 Logistics hub in Willesden.
Carrying 1,470 tonnes of spoil, the train travelled to Barrington in Cambridgeshire where the spoil will be reused in a disused quarry to bring it back into use as a new housing development.
Over the lifecycle of the project, up to seven freight trains per day will depart from Willesden, removing up to one million HGVs from the roads in the London area alone.
The logistics hub has been brought into use by HS2’s main works contractor, who are building the HS2 tunnels through London.
One train per day will arrive at the hub bringing in construction materials, including concrete segments that will be used to construct HS2’s London tunnels.
The hub will be used by other London contractors too, who are constructing HS2’s Old Oak Common and Euston stations respectively, and will provide a ‘beating heart’ for HS2’s construction activity in the South.
The first train to depart Willesden was operated by GB Railfreight and the start of the logistics service is the result of careful planning between HS2 Ltd, Network Rail, project contractors and the HS2 supply chain.
HS2’s Project Director, Malcolm Codling, said: “HS2 is committed to improving environmental standards in construction and the departure of the first logistics train from Willesden is just one of the many measures we are taking to do that.
“The team working at the Logistics hub will be coordinating rail freight movements that will remove one million HGVs off the roads, significantly reducing the project’s environmental impact.”
John Smith, Managing Director of GB Railfreight, said: “At GBRf, we are committed to increasing the amount of material transported by rail.
“The logistics hub has the potential to serve many rail freight journeys from our capital, removing the need for HGV’s on our roads and cutting carbon emissions in one of the UK’s most congested areas.
“The first train that left this week demonstrates the delivery of the Government’s net zero target, shifting from road to a more sustainable rail solution.”