HS2 celebrates delivery of one million tonnes of construction material

DB Cargo UK has this week celebrated the delivery of more than one million tonnes of construction material to its HS2 construction sites in Buckinghamshire. Delivering the material by rail has taken the equivalent of 100,096 HGV journeys off local roads and saved a staggering 11,399 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Across the whole HS2 project, 15,000 freight trains will haul 10 million tonnes of aggregate to construction sites - taking the equivalent of 1.5 million HGVs off the UK's roads.

The huge milestone was achieved over eighteen months, with 583 trains delivering aggregate to three locations around Calvert and Aylesbury. It comes as HS2 continues to make significant progress across Buckinghamshire. Two tunnelling machines have completed almost three miles of excavations for the Chiltern tunnel, and designs for the Calvert Infrastructure Maintenance depot have been revealed. and the first 'green tunnel' at Chipping Warden has begun construction.

The first freight railhead opened at Calvert at the end of 2020. Originally, 180 trains were scheduled to deliver aggregate from Hanson quarries in the west of England. But following the success of the project, new railheads were established near Calvert and Aylesbury to allow a massive increase in the amount of material delivered by rail.

Left to right: Paul Skelton (Contract Delivery Manager - Western), Mark Sargant (CDM Yorkshire and Humberside), Kate Turner (Head of Service Design), Jonathan Clarke (Account Manager), Philip Hayward (Mobile Operative).

The work is being managed by HS2's main works contractor EKFB - a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall.

The freight trains are operated by DB Cargo UK and Hanson and coordinated 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." Head of EKFB Logistics and Security, Chris Barton said: "The EKFB Logistics Team always strives to optimise deliveries where possible and the Material by Rail strategy is central to that.

With the support of our partners, Fishbone Solutions, Hanson, DB Cargo UK, RFS, and Mendip Rail, this strategy has allowed EKFB to remove a substantial number of vehicles from the roads adjacent to the construction sites and critically reduce the impacts on local communities, but also transform how we manage logistics on this project.

"It is no small task and we are all immensely proud of our achievements so far, and we now look forward to the next million tons."