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HS2 Ltd – Tunnel Excavation Process is Over Half Way

HS2 Tunnel

In line with advancing the HS2 Ltd projects, currently construction of the tunnels for HS2 has passed the halfway point.

Standing at peak construction of its plan, HS2 has now completed digging of two of its five twin-bore tunnels, with a further two well undergoing.

Being located at 350 separate worksites between London and the West Midlands, the high-speed rail line is supporting over than 31,000 jobs.

According to new analysis already 46.7km (almost 53%) of the 88.2km of tunnels has been excavated and built, eclipsing the length of tunnels bored for the Crossrail line in London.

As the first tunnel to be completed on this project, the 1.6km Long Itchington Wood Tunnel in Warwickshire was completed by TBM Dorothy’s second drive in March 2023, whereas completion of the Chiltern Tunnel which is the longest tunnel on the route and is 16.1km long was up to TBMs Florence and Cecilia earlier this year.

While boring of the 13.5km Northolt Tunnel is up to four TBMs in London, TBMs Sushila and Caroline have excavated almost 4.8km of their 8km route, travelling from West Ruislip to Green Park Way in Greenford, north-west London and building of 5.5km section of this tunnel in the opposite direction from Victoria Road in Ealing to Green Park Way is responsibility of two more TBMs. TBM Emily has completed 320m and TBM Anne has just been launched.

HS2 Progress Chart

Additionally, in the Midlands, TBM Mary Ann is nearly 3km into the 5.6km drive of the first bore of the Bromford Tunnel between Water Orton in North Warwickshire and Washwood Heath in Birmingham. TBM Elizabeth has just commenced to build the second bore.

The daily average speed of these TBMs is 12-16m.

Following completion of the drives, next stage for HS2 will be the tunneling project when other aspects such as the cross-passages, vent shafts and portals will be completed.

According to Rail minister Huw Merriman: “Reaching the milestone on a project of HS2’s scale showed how much momentum was behind construction of the line. It’s a significant achievement for the team helping deliver this railway and I’m delighted the project has now supported record numbers of new jobs, demonstrating the vital role it is playing in creating opportunities up and down the country.”

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