The North East is celebrating a significant ‘Levelling Up’ success, with the awarding of a contract to cast up to 36,000 concrete segments for HS2 at Hartlepool Dock.
In a shift from the normal routine of manufacturing the segments in Kent (where some will still be made), a new factory is being set up at a disused oil rig fabrication site. More than 100 new jobs will be created.
The segments are specifically for the twin-bore tunnels under London from the new Old Oak Common station to Green Parkway, running underneath Northolt. Their transportation will also provide valuable new rail traffic for the Durham Coast Line, and other routes to the south.
Construction of the new manufacturing plant will begin in January, with the redevelopment of a large area of land for storing the completed items and creating a rail loading area.
Production of the tunnel segments themselves, each weighing around seven tonnes, will commence in December 2022. The first freight train delivery is scheduled to arrive at the Willesden Euroterminal in April 2023, for onward movement to the tunnel boring machine, which is yet to be delivered from specialist supplier Herrenknecht in Germany.
Although no exact value for the multi-million-pound North East contract has been revealed, the contract for the lease of the site in Hartlepool, which is owned and operated by PD Ports, is for “several years” in the hope of securing more work.
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