International High Speed Rail

The High Speed Rail Group hosted an event to consider the growing demand and market for international high speed rail, and lessons that can be learnt and applied in the UK context. The event brought together Dyan Crowther, CEO at HS1 Ltd, Clive Roberts from the University of Birmingham and Mark Smith (the Read more…

Arup’s design wins HS2 Interchange station BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ certification

Sustainability and resilience have never been more important in transport infrastructure than now. The ambition for a megaproject such as HS2 has always been to build the most sustainable railway of its type in the world. Representing companies with relevant experience and an interest in high speed rail, the High Speed Rail Group is acutely aware of the challenges to industry that the government’s net zero carbon target brings. As part of its commitment to managing carbon footprint, HS2 has also set ambitious targets for its supply chain to minimise the whole life carbon emissions of its assets including buildings. For stations this includes achieving net zero carbon in operation for regulated emissions and achieving a 50 per cent reduction in whole life carbon emissions against a baseline for a typical station.

Arup has produced a design for HS2’s new Interchange station, to be built near Solihull and the NEC in the West Midlands. The station will be one of the best-connected places in the UK, with customers (more…)

Making the environmental case for HS2

Although the Coronavirus crisis has been dominating the headlines, environmental challenges have not gone away. The warm weather that is lifting spirits is also leading scientists to predict that 2020 will be the hottest year on record. Indeed, after the lockdown had already started, the DfT launched a radical consultation to inform its Transport Decarbonisation Plan (TDP). Calling for less car use and making public transport the first choice for daily travel, it represents a huge change from decades of previous policy.

It is important for HS2 now to rise to this opportunity. In her most recent report, Sadie Morgan, the chair of HS2’s independent design panel, called for more evidence and communication on how net zero is driving HS2 Ltd’s decision-making, calling for action from board level to those working on site. Professor Morgan also sits on the National Infrastructure Commission, which is undertaking a Rail Needs Assessment for the Midlands and the North. Clearly making the carbon case will be important for securing approval for Phase 2b and beyond.

The big challenge here is (more…)