HS2 rail freight haulage

HS2 rail freight success as 100,000 lorry journeys taken off local roads

Throughout the duration of the HS2 project, there has been a strong commitment to generating environmentally sustainable construction methods and incorporating natural habitats wherever possible. In keeping with these ambitions, HS2 has announced their successes in so far as more than a million tonnes of construction material have been delivered by rail to the high-speed rail’s work sites across Buckinghamshire, taking the equivalent of 100,096 HGV journeys off local roads.

This major milestone has been achieved over the course of 18 months, seeing a shift to rail haulage with 583 trains delivering aggregate to three locations around Calvert and Aylesbury. The transportation of materials through rail freight is estimated to have saved 11,399 tonnes of co2 emissions.

The first freight railhead at Calvert was opened at the end of 2020, seeing only 180 trains scheduled to deliver aggregate from Hanson quarries in the west of England. Due to the demonstrable success of the project, there have been new railheads established near Calvert and Aylesbury which willy massively increase the availability for haulage and material deliveries via rail.

As has been a constant through the HS2 project, the works are being managed by the main contractor EKFB - a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall. DB Cargo and Hanson have conducted the freight haulage operation, being co-ordinated by rail freight specialists, Fishbone.

HS2 Project Client, Rohan Perin said:

“We are serious about reducing the impact of construction on the local community and every freight train delivering material to site is the equivalent of around 70 trucks that would otherwise be on local roads.

“HS2 will offer zero carbon journey for passengers, but it’s also important that we drive down the amount of embedded carbon in construction. We’ve been working closely with Network Rail, EKFB and the Freight Operators for a number of years to make deliveries by rail possible and it’s great to see that our freight trains have now passed the one million tonne mark.”

Across the whole HS2 project, 15,000 freight trains are set to haul 10 million tonnes of aggregate to construction sites – taking the equivalent of 1.5 million HGVs off the UK’s roads.

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