HS2 begins work on Chipping Warden green tunnel


High Speed Two Limited (HS2) has announced the commencement of construction works of the first of its five green tunnels in Northamptonshire, UK.

The 1.5-mile Chipping Warden green tunnel will be built on the surface using an off-site manufacturing approach to expedite construction works. As many as 5,020 tunnel segments, manufactured in Derbyshire factory, will be assembled on site.

With an m-shaped double arch, the tunnel will have separate halves for southbound and northbound trains. Each will have a height of two double-decker buses.

The green tunnel will be covered by earth. Native trees and closely spaced shrubs will be planted to blend the infrastructure with the countryside.

Tunnel will be constructed in sections and is expected to be completed in 2024.

HS2's project client Rohan Perin said: “Our trains will be powered by zero carbon electricity but it’s also important to reduce the amount of carbon embedded in construction.

“The off-site manufacturing techniques being used will help cutting the overall amount of carbon-intensive concrete and steel in the tunnel and make the whole process faster, more efficient and therefore less disruptive for the community.”

The light weight modular approach is likely to reduce amount of carbon embedded in the structure by half. In addition, the project will need less people and equipment on site.

Chipping Warden is being built in phase one of a project under HS2, the developer of UK's high speed rail network. It is set to ease connectivity between London, Birmingham and the north.

Green tunnels will also come up at Greatworth and Wendover in Buckinghamshire, and Burton Green in Warwickshire. These tunnels will be equipped with porous portals to reduce the noise of trains.

In December 2021, Stanton Precast secured a contract from HS2 to manufacture and deliver segments for three green tunnels.


Image: A segment being installed at the Chipping Warden green tunnel project site. Credit: © High Speed Two Ltd.

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