Balfour Beatty VINCI, a long-established joint venture between two global infrastructure leaders, welcomed its first rail freight delivery of aggregate at HS2’s Washwood Heath site in Birmingham yesterday.
The delivery signalled the start of HS2’s major programme to take up to 1.5 million lorries off the road to cut carbon emissions. Over the next decade, up to 15,000 freight trains will haul 10 million tonnes of aggregate to HS2 construction sites. Each freight train replaces approximately 70 lorries, representing a substantial reduction in carbon emissions and marking a significant investment for Britain’s rail freight sector.
Balfour Beatty VINCI’s Washwood Heath Railhead site took the first delivery from HS2 preferred aggregates supplier Rail Stone Solutions (RSS) and their rail haulage partner GB Railfreight. Over the next four months, more than 150 trains will bring up to 235,000 tonnes of stone from quarries in the Peak District, equating to keeping an estimated 13,000 lorry movements off the road.
As part of the main works civils contract at Washwood Heath, Balfour Beatty VINCI will construct a large piling platform for the Bromford tunnel approaches, railway embankments, as well as haul roads around the site, which helps to limit the amount of vehicles on the public highway. Bromford Tunnel is the most northerly tunnel on Phase One of HS2, taking the railway in to Birmingham towards its destination at Curzon Street station.
Michael Dyke, Balfour Beatty VINCI Managing Director for HS2, said: “The construction and infrastructure industry has a huge part to play in Britain’s carbon emission mitigation, which is why today marks such a significant moment for the HS2 programme. Balfour Beatty VINCI is deeply committed to creating more sustainable ways to travel and the modal shift from road to rail freight is a perfect example of how we can reduce our carbon footprint.”
Mike Lyons, HS2’s Civils Client Director said: “HS2 is already playing a vital role in Britain’s green economic recovery, and today marks a significant milestone in our ambitions to reduce the project’s carbon footprint throughout construction. “We’ve been working closely with Network Rail, our Main Works Civils Contractors, and Freight Operators for a number of years to make this possible, and to deliver on our commitment to move as much material as possible by rail rather than road and help benefit the environment.”