German construction equipment manufacturer Herrenknecht has received a contract to deliver the first two tunnelling machines used for boring High Speed 2 (HS2) tunnels in the UK.

The company signed the contract with Skanska Costain Strabag joint venture (SCS JV), HS2’s main civil works contractor.

As agreed, Herrenknecht will build two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) and will deliver them to the site by the end of next year.

The TBMs will be specially designed to construct the tunnels under London clay and chalk ground conditions.

The London tunnels for HS2 are twin bored and will run for 13 miles each. SCS JV will be responsible for the tunnelling between central London and the M25.

It will start from Euston Station and will run underground to West London, where the tunnels will emerge at Old Oak Common station. The route will continue underground to the outskirts of West London.

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By GlobalData

Overall, ten TBMs will be acquired for 64 miles of tunnelling along the HS2 route between London and the West Midlands.

The Herrenknecht TBMs are expected to start boring in 2022, with completion expected at the beginning of 2024.

SCS JV managing director James Richardson said: “This partnership with Herrenknecht has brought together leading expertise in both our organisations and together we are constructing some of the most advanced TBMs in the world to efficiently drive the tunnels under London.

“Work is already well underway to prepare for the first tunnel launch in 2022. Throughout these and all our activities we are committed to involving local communities and stakeholders and supporting social development and employment through the 4,500 jobs that will be created.”

This contract comes a week after a consortium of Porr UK and Aggregate Industries UK secured a £260m contract to deliver a modular track system for the high speed project.