The High Speed 2 (HS2) project has announced the completion of an 853m-long logistics tunnel at Old Oak Common Station.
To complete the excavation of the Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel, which runs from the Atlas Road logistics hub to Old Oak Common station, an 847-tonne tunnel boring machine (TBM) named Lydia was used.
Now that the Atlas Road logistics tunnel is completed TBM Lydia will be removed and over the next 18 months, two more TBMs will be buried in the Old Oak Common station box ready to bore the planned c. 4.5-mile tunnel to Euston Station.
The plan is to eventually use the Atlas Road logistics tunnel to ‘allow materials required for the Euston Tunnel to be transported to the site without clogging up local roads or disrupting work going on elsewhere at Old Oak Common station’.
As well as for taking away clay that would be excavated during the project, the Atlas Road logistics tunnel could also be used to deliver over 6,000 concrete tunnel segments for HS2’s Euston tunnel, which is due to be built eastwards from Old Oak Common, subject to government green light.
The development of HS2’s London terminus at Euston was put on pause in March last year; HS2 later confirmed that construction of the tunnel between the two stations, which was due to commence in 2024, would also be delayed.
HS2 Old Oak Common senior project manager Sam Clark said: “The completion of the Atlas Road Tunnel sends a big message that we’re pushing for Euston to get the go ahead.”
HS2 project client director for Old Oak Common Huw Edwards added: “The government is absolutely committed to getting to Euston. We are absolutely confident that will be the end point of HS2 in London.
“We’ve seen tunnels paused before, it happens all the time. The government are working up the funding currently. The most economic way to deliver HS2 is to continue tunnelling.
“By autumn, two TBMs will be lifted into the box to build the Euston tunnels. We will be really progressing preparation works for the Euston tunnels over the next 12-18 months.”