Truck and Track Spring 2023

Truck and Track Spring 2023 86 RAILFREIGHT HS2 reveals final design for last of seven key Chiltern Tunnel structures HS2 today revealed the final designs for the North Portal of the Chiltern Tunnel – the last of seven key structures for the high speed rail project’s longest tunnels. Once construction is complete, the seven ‘Key Design Elements’ will be the only parts of the tunnel visible to the local community. Alongside the North Portal, which will be near South Heath in Buckinghamshire, they include the South Portal, near the M25, and headhouses above the ventilation and emergency access shafts, which are mostly designed to resemble agricultural buildings. The design work has been completed by HS2’s main works contractor, Align JV – a team made up of Bouygues Travaux Publics, Sir Robert McAlpine, and VolkerFitzpatrick, working with its design partners Jacobs, Rendel-Ingerop and LDA Design, and its architect Grimshaw Construction of the twin tunnels, which will stretch for 10 miles under the Chiltern hills, recently passed the halfway point, with two giant tunnelling machines currently between Amersham and Little Missenden. HS2 Ltd’s Design Director Kay Hughes said: “HS2 will provide zero-carbon journeys across the UK, improving links between London, Birmingham and the North, while freeing up space for more freight and local services on the existing main line. “The Chiltern Tunnel North Portal will be one of the least visible parts of the project, but the reveal of the final designs is a major symbolic milestone – and I’d like to congratulate Align on getting all their Key Design Elements to this final stage of development.” Hidden low into the landscape between Great Missenden and South Heath in Buckinghamshire, the North Portal will only be partially visible from a footbridge over the railway to the north. Two perforated concrete hoods will cover the track, extending the tunnel into the open air. These ‘porous portals’ will avoid sudden changes in air pressure – and resulting noise – caused by trains entering and exiting the tunnels. Alongside the portals, there will also be a simple single-storey ancillary building to house mechanical and electrical equipment which will be clad in earth-coloured pigmented zinc. Following feedback from the community, this building has been reduced in size and will now feature a green roof to help further blend the infrastructure into the landscape. Align’s Technical Director, Alan Price said: “This is a significant achievement for both Align and our design partners in Align D, that is led by Jacobs and Ingerop-Rendel. Having the design on the shelf releases procurement and allows complete flexibility to optimise the construction programme.” To the north of the tunnel, the new high speed line will be set into a cutting for 1.8 miles (3km) on its approach to the Wendover Dean Viaduct, with more than 20 hectares of new woodland, shrubs and wildflowers planted to help blend the railway into the surrounding countryside. The species chosen will be typical to the Chilterns including Beech, Oak, Yew, Holly and Dog Rose. Derby has been selected to become the home of Great British Railways, delivering high-skilled jobs to the region Derby has been named as the national headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR HQ), marking a key milestone in the government’s plan to reform the nation’s railways. As Europe’s largest rail hub, Derby will soon become the heart of Great Britain’s rail industry too, bringing track and train together and delivering high-skilled jobs to a city already brimming with the best talent in the industry. Derby came top of all six excellent locations in both the rigorous assessment process and the public vote. Their application demonstrated strong links to the wider network, well-established connections with the industry, supply chain and customers, as well as an extensive local cluster of private sector rail businesses. Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “It’s full steam ahead for the reform of our railways and today’s announcement is not only a huge win for the brilliant city of Derby, but a key milestone for the entire rail industry across the country. “Great British Railways will put the passenger first, promoting collaboration and innovation across a joined-up, efficient and modern network.” Councillor Chris Poulter, Leader of Derby City Council, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled that Derby has been selected to become the home of Great British Railways. This result is a testament to the hard work of our team, alongside our key rail and city partners based across Derby - we couldn’t have done it without them. “Rail heritage is at the heart of our city and for this to be recognised by government is a fantastic achievement. The investment we’ll see from this significant move will be huge, not only just for Derby but for levelling up across the whole of the wider East Midlands. “We have a rich history of being the only city in the UK to have manufactured rolling stock continuously since 1840, so I’m thrilled that Derby’s heritage is being recognised in this defining way. We can’t wait to see what this momentous move will mean for Derby and its citizens in the future.” While Great British Railway’s headquarters will be in Derby, other towns and cities across Britain, potentially including the five shortlisted cities, will still benefit, becoming powered up regional GBR hubs equipped with local decision making, and investment powers aimed at benefiting their local communities and further creating jobs in the locations they serve. GBR will also have roles spanning across Great Britain including the North, South East, South West and London, with the HQ driving collaboration and innovation across the sector. The government is working closely and collaboratively with the Great British Transition Team to co-design the future of our railways. Passengers and freight customers will be GBR’s key priority, the new body will also take control of the industry’s finances to drive efficiency and work with the private sector to deliver for customers. Great British Railways will be locally led and will harness the potential of the private sector locally, regionally and nationally. TRUCK & TRAILER SOLUTIONS WELCOME TOALLPORTS GROUP