‘Prefab’ tunnels lined up for HS2

Prefabricated tunnels will be built in thousands of sections at a factory in Ilkeston, before being used on HS2.

Stanton Precast is to make the components, which will be used in ‘green tunnels’ at Chipping Warden and Greatworth (both Northants), and at Wendover (Bucks). All will incorporate so-called ‘porous portals’ to reduce the noise of trains exiting the tunnels.

The tunnels will total around four miles, with Chipping Warden (the first) stretching for around 1½ miles. Assembly at that site is due to start in 2022, with completion expected in 2024. The tunnel has been designed as a ‘double arch’, with separate halves for southbound and northbound trains.

HS2 says that the construction method will “reduce disruption and improve efficiency”.

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