Concrete segments to be UK-made

A factory on the Isle of Grain has landed the contract to manufacture the 58,000 pre-cast concrete tunnel segments needed for HS2’s London tunnels.

The segments, which will make up ten miles of the route, will be produced by Pacadar UK. 

Its deal with the Skanska Costain Strabag Joint Venture (SCS JV) is the largest UK contract is it has ever won. 

The casting programme will start in January, and the first segments will be needed when the first tunnel boring machine arrives in the capital early next year from Herrenknecht, in Germany. 

The segments will be conveyed by rail to West Ruislip, where a construction site is being created for the twin-bore, five-mile Northolt Tunnel West.

More than 160,000 cubic metres of concrete will be required to make the segments, which will form a 9.5-metre outside diameter tunnel that is a third of a metre thick. Each complete ring is made of seven segments, each weighing around seven tonnes. 

The contract will ensure employment for 180 Pacadar staff, who have recently completed the supply of 7½ miles of tunnel segments for Thames Tideway.

HS2’s London end will run through 13 miles of twin bore tunnels between Euston and West Ruislip, and is the same length as Crossrail. The first tunnel is due to be completed in 2024.

HS2 Ltd has awarded the contract to provide scaffolding around the tunnel boring machines to family-run PHD Access from Uxbridge.

The equipment is needed to assemble TBMs Florence and Cecilia for their duties excavating the London end beneath the Chiltern Hills. 

So far, HST has spent £18 billion with over 2,000 British suppliers. This figure is expected to rise to £25bn.

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