HS2 has moved the first huge viaduct section into place over the motorway network in North Warwickshire, a milestone for the project’s Delta Junction as HS2 reaches peak construction in the region. Contractors have used a specialist push-pull technique to move the 84 metre, 300 tonne steel viaduct section into place over the westbound link road between the M6 and M42 near Coleshill.

This is the first of two moves to install the deck for HS2’s ‘East Link Viaduct’, which is part of the triangular Delta Junction. The second operation will create the full 158 metre long composite deck over both westbound and eastbound motorway link roads. Further work, including in-situ concrete deck works and parapets installation will be undertaken to complete the structure.

It was delivered by specialist steelwork company Victor Buyck Steel Construction (VBSC), working on behalf of HS2’s main works contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV). Using a push-pull jacking system which gives greater flexibility during the launch operation, it was the first time VBSC have used their specially designed technique in the UK.

Before the end of this year, a similar two-stage operation will move the identical ‘West Link Viaduct’ which runs parallel to the East Link Viaduct. This section of the triangular Delta Junction enables high speed trains to travel between London, Interchange Station in Solihull and Birmingham Curzon Street Station.

The Delta Junction is made up of embankments, cuttings and a total of 13 viaducts taking high speed tracks over motorways, local roads, existing rail lines, rivers and floodplains. The viaducts include 6 precast segmental viaducts, 4 composite viaducts and 3 low viaducts.

The layout of the Delta Junction triangle means the railway from London curves west on a spur towards Birmingham Curzon Street Station. As trains come out of Birmingham, the line heads north to meet the main HS2 line, which will then connect to the West Coast Main Line to Manchester. The third side of the triangle allows trains to run between London and Manchester without stopping at Birmingham.

Animated flythrough orbit of the Delta Junction