HS2 has revealed images of the first landscaped green tunnels that are set to be built in Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.
The new tunnels will help blend the high-speed rail line into the landscape and the modular design will cut embedded carbon in construction by 50%.
The Greatworth tunnel will be 1.5 miles long and will be built in a factory in Derbyshire.
From there it will be shipped to the site where it will be assembled and covered with earth to fit in with the landscape.
This off site modular approach was taken by HS2’s main works contractor EKFB after applying lessons from the construction of high-speed lines in France.
The EKFB team is made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall.
Rohan Perin, HS2 Ltd’s Project Client commented on the overall benefits of the approach being taken in the construction of the landscaped green tunnels.
Mr Perin said: “The Greatworth green tunnel is a great example of what we’re doing to blend the new railway into the landscape.
“We’re also cutting embedded carbon from the design, improving efficiency, safety and making the whole construction process less disruptive for the community.”
The Greatworth tunnel will be designed as an ‘m’ shape with two separate halves for southbound and northbound trains.
By reducing the amount of concrete and steel used in the construction process it is expected the amount of carbon embedded in the structure will be halved.
Similar structures are set to be built near Wendover in Buckinghamshire and Chipping Warden in Northamptonshire measuring for a combined total of four miles.
These tunnels will contain ‘porous portals’ to reduce the noise of trains and small portal buildings to house safety and electrical equipment.
Andy Swift, EKFB Delivery Director spoke on the construction process being used to build the new green tunnels.
Mr Swift said: “The green tunnel design is a combination of innovation, international engineering expertise and thoughtful landscaping for its local communities to enjoy.
“The original earth removed from the cutting to make way for the tunnel, will be repositioned, creating a green space which will blend into the surrounding landscape.”
The 13,290 segments needed for the three tunnels will be made by Derbyshire-based Stanton Precast Ltd.
The deal with Stanton Precast Ltd has created almost 100 jobs at their Ilkeston factory.