HS2 today revealed a new spoil conveyor designed to take around 70,000 lorry journeys off Buckinghamshire’s roads and significantly reduce disruption for local residents during the construction of the UK’s new high speed rail line.
The conveyor stretches for 1.3km between two construction sites on either side of the A413 and local railway line, south of the town of Wendover. It is expected to carry 550,000 cubic metres of chalk and other material over the next two years and will avoid shifting the material along the main road.
Similar conveyor belts have been built at Old Oak Common in West London and Long Itchington in Warwickshire – boosting construction efficiency and reducing traffic as work on the project continues to ramp up.
Once complete, HS2 will link London with Birmingham and the north, improving connections, boosting growth and freeing up space on the existing rail lines for more freight and local services.
Welcoming the news, HS2 Ltd’s Project Manager, Jason Bicknell, said: “HS2 will provide zero-carbon journeys from day one.“Although this conveyor is crucial in allowing us to move large quantities of material over a ‘pinch-point’ created by rail and road, it’s also a fantastic solution to avoid carbon emissions whilst being sensitive to the surrounding area of natural beauty, taking ecology and noise into consideration and ensuring we reduce impact to local residents.
“We’re reusing chalk and other material excavated south of Wendover to use in earthworks further north and this clean, quiet conveyor will dramatically improve the efficiency of that operation – taking trucks off the road and speeding up construction of this part of the UK’s new high speed railway”
The Wendover conveyor is fully contained to reduce dust and noise and made up of five sections, with temporary bridges across the main road and the existing Chiltern railway line. It will transport material – mainly chalk – excavated from cuttings to the south, to be reused in earthworks elsewhere on the route.
Shifting material with the conveyor is expected to cut carbon emissions by avoiding the need to move the material by road – and halve the amount of noise from vehicles and equipment. It was built by HS2 Ltd’s main works contractor, EKFB - a team made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall.
EKFB’s Project Manager, Martin Gamble, said: “Working with our supply chain partners, Blackwell Earthmoving and Hargreaves Industrial Services, this fully enclosed, temporary conveyer will help us move a large amount of material over the A413 quickly and safely. It’s more environmentally friendly than using HGVs by road and this is reducing road disruption for our local communities.
“This conveyer is a modular design so it can be dismantled and used on other sites to support the build programme across the project.”