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High-speed rail HS2

VolkerWessels company VolkerFitzpatrick is currently carrying out the mega project HS2 on behalf of the British government. This project includes the construction of a state-of-the-art viaduct and a 16-kilometer long tunnel with two tubes 40 meters deep.

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In the United Kingdom, the HS2, the country's second high-speed rail line with a top speed of 360 kilometers per hour, is being awaited with great anticipation. This line will take passengers from London to Manchester in just over an hour, which currently takes more than two hours. More importantly, the HS2 will relieve congestion on the existing railroad, helping to reduce traffic on already congested roads.

Construction of the HS2 is divided into two phases. The first phase covers the stretch between London and Birmingham. VolkerFitzpatrick, Sir Robert McAlpine and France's Bouygues form the Align joint venture, which is responsible for about 20 kilometers of this stretch. This includes the engineering and construction of a 3.4-kilometer viaduct and a 16-kilometer two-tube tunnel. The viaduct crosses the forest and wetland area of the Colne Valley Park. The design is characterized by international allure: the bridge consists of 58 piers with an average height of nearly 9 meters, 11 of which have a complex V-shape. The spans are between 45 and 80 meters long. A huge launch gantry installs the precast elements on site, which is an impressive sight.

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Meest prestigieus

The 24/7 construction of the tunnel is an engineering feat, for which Align uses two purpose-built drilling machines: Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs). Each TBM has a diameter of over 10 meters, a length of 170 meters and a weight of 2,000 tons. These machines are designed to drill through chalk and flint, with the excavated soil being processed on site into sludge for landscaping.

The HS2 is one of the most prestigious civil engineering projects VolkerFitzpatrick has ever undertaken in the UK. The work is scheduled for completion in 2025, after which track will be laid on the viaduct and in the tunnel. In cooperation with VolkerRail UK, the company hopes to participate in further developments of the project.