HS2’s Washwood Heath site in Birmingham has received its first rail freight delivery of aggregate, signalling the start of HS2’s major programme to take up to 1.5 million lorries off the roads 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 around 70 lorries, representing a massive reduction in carbon emissions and marking a significant investment for Britain’s rail freight sector.
Managed by HS2’s main works civils joint venture Balfour Beatty VINCI, the Washwood Heath railhead site took the first delivery from HS2 preferred aggregates supplier Rail Stone Solutions (RSS) and its 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.
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.”