HS2 has started production of 2,742 huge concrete segments which will be used to build the Delta Junction, a triangle-shaped series of viaducts that will take high-speed trains between London, the Midlands and the North.
The deck segments – which each weigh up to 80 tonnes – are being made on site at a purpose-built outdoor factory at Kingsbury, Warwickshire. The 55,000 square metre site employs around 1,000 people in total, with a team of 200 tasked with building the network of 9 viaducts at Water Orton and Coleshill, crossing motorways, roads and footpaths. It also hosts a Skills Academy to support local people into employment or further training.
The pre-cast yard will turn out up to eight segments per day, with a variable weight between 50 and 80 tonnes. The segments are 3.5m high and come in two different widths – 7m or 11m, to support single track and double track sections of the railway.
A 54 metre-long gantry crane lifts each segment during the manufacturing cycle, ahead of their onward transport to nearby Water Orton and Coleshill ready for on-site assembly.
HS2’s Delta Junction forms two spurs which branch off the main HS2 line between London and the North. Trains will travel between the Birmingham Curzon Street Station terminus and the North, and between Curzon Street and the South, accounting for around 10km of HS2 tracks.
The project is being delivered by HS2’s main works contractor for the West Midlands, Balfour Beatty VINCI (BBV) who are constructing 90km of HS2 between Long Itchington in Warwickshire to the centre of Birmingham and on to Staffordshire.