HS2 moves 10 million tons of material by rail drastically cutting carbon emissions

1 min read

High Speed Two (HS2), the company responsible for developing the UK's new high speed rail network, has announced that 10 million tons of material have now been delivered to – and removed from – construction sites by rail, a major milestone in HS2’s plan to cut carbon emissions by removing lorries from roads.

When HS2 launched its Materials by Rail program in 2020, the target by 2030 was to haul 10 million tons of aggregate to and from sites, taking up to 1.5 million lorries off the roads using up to 15,000 freight trains.

Working strategically with joint venture partners, Network Rail, freight operators and building materials companies, HS2 has already moved over 10 million tons of materials by rail in just over two years. It is now expected that HS2 will move 20 million tons of aggregate across the Phase One program, removing three million lorries from the strategic road network on 30,000 freight trains.

HS2 is Britain’s new high speed rail line being built from London to the northwest, with HS2 trains linking the biggest cities in Scotland, Manchester, Birmingham, and London. It is the largest infrastructure project in Europe and the most important economic and social regeneration project in decades.

Every HS2 train will be powered by zero carbon energy, providing a cleaner, greener alternative to domestic flights, and driving.

HS2 Phase One will open between 2029 and 2033 and run from London to Birmingham over 134 miles, through 31 miles of tunnels and over 10 miles of viaducts delivering quicker journeys on more trains with more seats.

HS2 has been working with Network Rail for several years to ensure that capacity on the rail network is available for HS2’s contractors to deliver their requirements by rail rather than road.

Chris Bennett-Poynter, regional freight manager – northwest and central region at Network Rail said, “We’re delighted to mark this significant milestone for HS2’s Materials by Rail program which is taking polluting lorries off our congested roads to transport aggregate across the country in a fast, reliable, and environmentally friendly way. Reducing carbon emissions is a key priority for Network Rail and we will continue to work closely with HS2 and our industry partners to maximize further transportation of construction materials by rail.”

Once HS2 opens and moves long-distance, inter-city passenger services on to dedicated high-speed lines, the new railway will free up space for even more freight services across the country, as well as additional local and regional passenger trains.