Latest updates to HS2 in 2022

Double HS2 tunnel length near Birmingham approved

HS2 has announced plans to double the length of a new tunnel near Birmingham.

The change in design on Phase One of the route will see the Bromford Tunnel extend from 2.8km to 5.7km into Warwickshire, removing complex above-ground engineering works.

This is due to the area being a built up and environmentally sensitive area, where retained cut-outs, fillings and a new viaduct were to be built. The eastern portal will be moved to Water Orton, and the western portal to Washwood Heath, where an HS2 maintenance depot will be built. 

The environmental benefits of this move include eliminating 260,000 truck movements during construction, thus saving 30,000 tonnes of carbon emissions. Fewer properties and businesses will be affected by the new railway line too. 

Battery-crawler cranes employed in move towards diesel-free construction

Three electric crawler cranes have been plugged in at HS2 to reduce the project’s emissions. There are only five of these 100% emissions-free Liebherr cranes in the world.

These cranes are currently working on the 850m long Old Common Station Box, housing six rail platforms, and creating a vent shaft site at HS2’s Canterbury Road. 

HS2 has set a target to be net zero carbon from 2035, as well as having diesel-free construction sites by 2029. 

The decision to employ these electric crawlers comes after a trial at HS2’s Birmingham Curzon Street Station last year.

In addition to this, they have invested in a range of electric concrete pumps, MEWPs, new technology tower cranes and hoists to demonstrate the value of sustainability and reach zero carbon targets.