HS2 gets building

The start of tunnelling through the Chilterns is just one of many exciting milestones for the high-speed project, HS2’s Director of Infrastructure CHRIS RAYNER tells PHILIP SHERRATT

HS2 is such a massive project that we often take its sheer scale for granted. For example, early works on Phase One linking London with the West Midlands are valued at £2 billion alone, and that’s before the main civils works have even begun.

The go-ahead for early works on the project followed Royal Assent for Phase One in 2017. After a period of uncertainty and several reviews, in February 2020 Prime Minister Boris Johnson told Parliament the Government was giving HS2 ‘the green signal’. This was followed by ‘Notice to Proceed’ in April 2020, which kicked off the transition from early works to the main civils contracts to build Phase One. Now this spring will herald more significant milestones for the project – tunnel boring machines (TBMs) will launch through the Chilterns and construction will begin in earnest on the station at Old Oak Common in west London, one of four on Phase One.

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