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HS2 marks a milestone in the construction of Britain's longest railway line

HS2 marks a milestone in the construction of Britain's longest railway line

Construction of the Thames Valley Viaduct, part of England's HS2 high-speed rail project, has reached the halfway mark. This project is distinguished not only by its size, but also by innovative production methods. Spanning the Thames Valley, the viaduct represents a new era in construction technology with a particular focus on environmentally friendly solutions.

The viaduct has a total length of 880 meters and is expected to play a major role in improving transport links between London and Birmingham. The project, planned with a budget of 64 million euros, includes the construction of a double track according to European standards.

The beams are protected by a new method without the need for concrete. Photo: HS2

– We have reached the active stage of construction, and in today's geopolitical situation, it is very important to integrate the railway network of Lithuania and the entire Baltic states with the Western transport system, explains the Minister of Transport and Communications of Lithuania, Marius Skudis.

Environmental focus and efficiency at the forefront

What distinguishes the Thame Valley Viaduct is its manufacturing process. Instead of using several narrow beams for each span, it is chosen to use two large hollow U-shaped beams per span. These beams and nearly all of the viaduct's piers are manufactured in a factory on the Ghent Isles, nearly 140 kilometers away.

Inspired by the viaducts on the Spanish high-speed network, this method allows the beams to be protected to the end without the need to cast concrete. This not only reduces the use of carbon-intensive concrete and steel in the structure – reducing its carbon footprint by a third – but also reduces the number of trucks needed to transport materials to the construction site, reducing social disruption.

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Challenges and next steps

Despite the progress, the project poses major challenges, not least because of its scale and technical complexity. The next step in the process is to build larger versions of the viaduct, including 60 and 80 meter blades.

The project is an important step for infrastructure projects in the region and globally, which aim to increase the efficiency of construction processes while reducing environmental impact. The HS2 project, with its innovative approach and environmental focus, is set to change the landscape of rail construction not only in the UK but globally.

Source: HS2 High Speed ​​Project