HS2’s 1.7 mile spoil conveyor launches operation in West London


Balfour Beatty VINCI, conveyor, HS2, Old Oak, Skanska Costain STRABAG, West London,


After Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA JV and Skanska Costain STRABAG JV’s collaboration to construct HS2’s 1.7 mile conveyor network, it will remove one million lorry movements in West London.

A 1.7-mile-long network of conveyors has begun operating in West London and will move over five million tonnes of spoil excavated for the construction of HS2. The use of the conveyor will remove the need for one million lorry movements from roads in West London, reducing traffic congestion and emissions in the local area.

HS2’s contractors, Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA joint venture (BBVS JV) and Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV), have collaborated to construct the network of conveyors which meet at the HS2 Logistics Hub at Willesden Euro Terminal.

The conveyor network has three spurs, serving the Old Oak Common station site, the Victoria Road Crossover box site, and the Atlas Road site. At Old Oak Common, HS2 Ltd’s station contractor, BBVS JV, will use the conveyor to remove the 1.5 million tonnes of spoil being excavated for the station box, the subsurface structure in which the  HS2 platforms will be constructed.

“It was a pleasure to launch this truly remarkable conveyor system at Old Oak Common today and see how impressive it is in action, as it brings us one step closer to our goal of delivering a cleaner transport network,” says Rail Minister Huw Merriman. 

“These conveyors are just one way in which HS2 is transforming the future of construction by keeping the impact on the environment and the local community to a minimum while driving growth across the country,” says Rail Minister Huw Merriman. 

“The launch of our conveyor system in West London is another important progress milestone for HS2 Ltd. This impressive network of conveyors means we can significantly reduce the impact of construction on the local area. Momentum on HS2 continues to build as the project nears peak construction, and systems like these conveyors are just one of the ways we are working to reduce carbon emissions in construction,” says HS2 Stations Client Director Lee Holmes. 

The spur which serves Victoria Road Crossover Box site will be used by SCS JV and will transport spoil excavated for the crossover box. In addition, the spoil excavated in the construction of the Northolt Tunnel East when two TBMs are launched from the site in late 2023 will also be transported to the Logistics Hub via the conveyor.

The final spur runs from a site on Atlas Road and will be used to remove spoil from the excavation of a logistics tunnel from Atlas Road to Old Oak Common. The conveyor will then be extended through the logistics tunnel and remove material from the excavation of the Euston tunnel, further reducing the impact on the local road network.

From Old Oak Common, the conveyor runs at 2.1 metres per second, and the journey to the logistics hub takes 17.5 minutes. The conveyor system includes sound barriers and covers to prevent noise and limit dust dispersal.

“As we work to deliver Britain’s new, high-speed railway, we are continually seeking new ways to reduce the carbon emissions associated with our operations,” says Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA Project Director Nigel Russell. 

“The conveyor belt is a key example of how we are doing just that; collaborating with our partners to put in place new, innovative solutions which not only reduce our emissions but also reduce disruption for the travelling public and local community,” says Balfour Beatty VINCI SYSTRA Project Director Nigel Russell. 

“SCS JV is proud to be part of the collaboration that constructed the carbon-friendly HS2 conveyor network, responsible for removing over 5 million tonnes of spoil,” says Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture Managing Director James Richardson. 

“Moving spoil on the vast 1.7mile conveyor network means a million fewer lorry journeys, less disruption to residents and businesses, and puts us on track to deliver our commitment to achieving net zero carbon,” says Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture Managing Director James Richardson. 

From the Logistics hub, the spoil will be taken by rail to three destinations across the UK – Barrington in Cambridgeshire, Cliffe in Kent, and Rugby in Warwickshire – where it will put to beneficial reuse, filling voids which will then be used as a basis for redevelopment, such as house building projects.

The Logistics Hub has processed over 430,000 tonnes of spoil, with over 300 trains distributing the spoil to its end destination.

Source: © High Speed Two Ltd 2022

Image source: © High Speed Two Ltd 2022

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