HS2 has accelerated its work in the West Midlands after engineers moved a 5,600 tonne bridge into place under the Coventry to Leamington Spa railway in Warwickshire.
For the work, a team of 250 people first removed 113 metres of existing track and 188 sleepers, followed by 15,000 cubic metres of ground so the bridge had a space to move into.
The bridge was moved into place using five 3.8 tonne jacks designed by Freyssinet; the whole operation took five-and-a-half hours before it was completed at 03:30 on Monday the 31st of July – 27 hours ahead of schedule.
HS2 will now work around the clock to backfill around the site and put the track back in place, ensuring the railway can be reopened at 08:30 on Sunday the 6th of August.
The structure will enable HS2’s rail line to pass underneath the existing Coventry to Leamington Spa track – in the short term, it will alleviate road traffic by allowing construction vehicles to also pass under the line.
James Briggs, who is HS2’s project manager for this particular bridge move, said: “The bridge was built on-site adjacent to the existing railway – an innovative approach which means it takes days, not months, to safely complete our works, keeping disruption to a minimum for rail passengers.
“This is another great example of HS2’s world-leading approach to engineering and shows the vast progress we are making to bring high-speed rail to the Midlands and the North.
John Emery, senior sponsor for Network Rail, added: “This is a fantastic milestone for HS2 who we have worked with closely to combine their major construction work with a project to strengthen a historic railway viaduct near Leamington Spa which will help to secure the future of this key route for passengers and freight services.”
Image credit: HS2 Ltd