High Speed Two (HS2) in the UK has unveiled the initial images of Greatworth tunnel, the longest of the three ‘green tunnels’ that will be established across Northamptonshire and Buckinghamshire.
This 2.41km tunnel will be engineered in a Derbyshire factory.
It will then be transported to the site and assembled over the railway track as it passes the village.
After covering with earth, the infrastructure will be fit into the surrounding countryside.
The tunnel will be built using an ‘off site’ modular approach.
This approach has been created by HS2’s main works contractor, EKFB, a team including Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and BAM Nuttall.
Greatworth tunnel, with an ‘m’ shaped double arch design, will feature two separate sections for southbound and northbound trains.
HS2 said in a statement: “Instead of the whole tunnel being cast on site, five different concrete precast segments will be slotted together to achieve the double arch, one central pier, two side walls and two roof slabs. All 5,400 segments installed at Greatworth will be steel reinforced, with the largest weighing up to 43t.”
By deploying lighter-weight modular approach, the firm aims to reduce over 50% of the amount of carbon present in the structure.
This method will also enhance safety, minimise disruption for locals, as well as reduce the number of people and equipment required on site.
Similar structures will also be made near Wendover in Buckinghamshire and Chipping Warden in Northamptonshire.
These structures will cover a distance of 6.43km in total.
At both the ends, the tunnels will feature ‘porous portals’ that will help lower the noise of trains moving through the tunnel.
Small portal buildings will also be built for keeping safety and electrical equipment.
The entire 13,290 segments for these three tunnels are being manufactured by Derbyshire-based Stanton Precast.
Last month, a Hitachi-Alstom joint venture secured a $2.6bn (£1.97bn) contract to design, build and maintain 54 electric trains for HS2 Phase 1.