Freight train aggregate delivery, via HS2

HS2’s continued rail freight delivery to remove 300,000 truck journeys

HS2’s newest Bucks construction hub is set to welcome around 1,800 freight trains over the next three years as the continued delivery of the project gets underway. Situated along the freight line north of Aylesbury, this new facility is expected to remove the equivalent of 300,000 lorry movements off local roads, cutting carbon emissions by 27,903 tCO2e.

This news comes two years after HS2 began the process of transporting materials via rail freight to its other Buckinghamshire sites, which has resulted in the removal of more than 116,000 truck journeys from the road, consequently saving an estimated 13,000 tonnes co2e.

The modal shift of freight delivery via rail transportation is an integral method to decarbonising construction projects across the UK, whilst also removing noise and road disruptions from the affected areas.

Welcoming the news, HS2 Ltd Senior Project Manager Paul Marshall said:

“We are serious about reducing the impact of construction on the local community and promoting sustainable construction methods. That’s why we started delivering materials by rail two years ago and this new railhead will help us continue to take huge numbers of trucks off local roads.

“We’ve been working closely with Network Rail, EKFB and the Freight Operators for a number of years to make this possible, and to deliver not only low carbon journeys for our passengers, but also cut carbon in construction.”

The new site near Quainton is expected to see the delivery of up to 3 million tonnes of materials delivered, with most aggregates being used for construction. Once on site, most of the material will be stockpiled before being moved up or down the trace of the new high-speed line on a series of dedicated haul roads to keep it away from local road users.


The railhead was set up by HS2’s main works contractor EKFB – a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall. EKFB is delivering the 80km central section of the route, including 17 viaducts, 81 bridges and three cut and cover ‘green tunnels’.

They worked with a team from Network Rail who have completed a series of alterations which will enable freight services to operate in and out of the new railhead at Quainton.

Simon Winfield, head of delivery unit for Network Rail, said

“Our team have worked at pace to complete adjustments on this section of railway which will help our partners at HS2 to reduce carbon by taking lorries off the roads in Buckinghamshire.

“Network Rail staff will continue to support the material by rail freight operation in Quainton by ensuring that trains are safely operated in and out of the new railhead.”

The railhead will be operated by Fishbone Solutions on behalf of EKFB with trains operated by DB Cargo UK Ltd on behalf of Hanson.

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