Rail deliveries of HS2’s tunnel ring segments in London remove a million miles of lorry journeys

Rail deliveries of HS2’s tunnel ring segments in London remove a million miles of lorry journeys

HS2's has removed one million miles of lorry movements from Britain’s roads by delivering tunnel ring segments to the West Ruislip Portal site in Hillingdon.

The tunnel ring segments are manufactured by Pacadar UK at its Thamesport factory on the Isle of Grain in Kent. They are then transported by freight train to the West Ruislip Portal site, where they are installed by HS2's London tunnels contractor, Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture. This option was made possible once the Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM’S) had been launched and space on the rail head became available.

Speaking about the materials by rail programme at West Ruislip Portal, Pat Cawley, HS2’s director for On Network Works, said: “HS2 is committed to responsible construction and using the rail network as much as possible to deliver materials. By using freight routes to deliver tunnel ring segments manufactured by Pacadar to our West Ruislip tunnelling site, thousands of lorry movements will not be required.

Our freight programme is a result of extensive collaboration between HS2 Ltd, our contractors, Network Rail and the freight operators and we anticipate that over 20 million tonnes of materials will be moved by rail on Phase One of the HS2 programme.”

HS2 revealed that 120 trains have now completed the journey between the Isle of Grain and West Ruislip with each rain delivering 144 segments, which are then installed underground and will eventually make up 20 tunnel rings.

James Richardson, managing director of Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture said: “By using 120 trains instead of lorries to move tunnel segments from Thamesport to our TBMs in West Ruislip, we’ve curbed transport-related emissions by 750 tonnes of CO2 so far, reaching the remarkable milestone of a million avoided lorry miles.

“This is just the beginning. Overall, across the life of our partnership with Pacadar, we’re projected to reduce our carbon impact by 2,250 tonnes.”

Eventually, it is expected that 400 freight trains will make the journey, and reducing the carbon footprint by approximately 2,250 tonnes.

Early in 2024, two further TBM’s will complete the 8.4 miles Northolt Tunnel with the segment rings being manufactured in Hartlepool.

Photo Credit: HS2 Ltd


RTM April/May 24


Immerse yourself with the latest thought leadership on intelligent wayfinding for a more inclusive railway, a revolutionary approach to investment in the south, and strategic investments unlocking the North’s potential.

More articles...

View all
TransCityRail Banner


Mids \ 29 02 24
South \ 11 07 24
North \ 07 11 24

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.

Rail Technology Magazine Podcast

Listen to industry leaders on everything within rail

Whether it's the latest advancements in rail technology, policies, innovations, or the challenges facing the rail industry providers, we cover it all.


Join us as we engage with top rail professionals, industry leaders, and policy experts to bring you insightful conversations that matter.