HS2’s London Logistics Hub celebrates transporting one million tonnes of spoil by rail

Press release 14/07/2023 10:50 CET

The Logistics Hub, operated by our Skanska Costain STRABAG JV, has already taken 110,000 lorry movements off the roads.

First loading to take away muck to be recycled and reused around the country

The Logistics Hub, managed by our Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture (SCS JV), transports excavated material from the Old Oak Common Station, the Victoria Road Crossover Box in Ealing and the nearby Atlas Road sites.

Over the course of the HS2 project, the Logistics Hub will transfer and transport over five million tonnes of spoil. At peak, seven trains per day will depart from the London Logistics Hub, with three per day departing at present. Each train takes 1,500 tonnes of material – the equivalent of 80 lorry loads. One million tonnes of spoil has already been transported by train.

The material from HS2’s work is brought to the site on a network of conveyors, which were switched on in November 2022 by the HS2 Minister, Huw Merriman. The operation at Willesden sees the material being transferred onto rail wagons which are then taken to sites in Kent, Rugby and Cambridgeshire, where the material will be used for beneficial re-use projects, including a nature reserve for birds.

The enormous logistics operation is managed inside the site’s state of the art control room. The team can see how much spoil is on site, monitor the loading into the wagons and ensure that the operation meets the railway timetable. SCS JV worked collaboratively with Sheffield based company, 3Squared, to develop the software being used for rail logistics.

The millionth tonne of material was despatched to Cliffe in Kent on 23 June 2023.

Celebrating the progress, Malcolm Codling, Project Client at HS2 Ltd, said: “The London Logistics Hub is at the beating heart of the HS2 operation in the capital, keeping the project on track to deliver Britain’s new low-carbon high speed railway in the most sustainable way. Transporting one million tonnes of spoil at this one site is no mean feat and has been achieved through effective collaboration and planning.”

James Richardson, Manging Director of our Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture said:

“For a project of the scale, size and complexity of HS2 London Tunnels, we have built a logistics operation to meet these challenges. We are justly proud of our technology-enabled operation, our conveyor network and our rail freight partnership which has enabled us to move a million tonnes of material safely, efficiently and sustainably. 

"Every tonne of material is tracked by our state-of-the-art Logistics Hub, from the moment the material goes onto our 1.7mile-long conveyor towards our rail terminal and then onto the existing rail freight network to their final destinations in the UK.  While our geographic footprint stretches across London to Kent, Rugby and Cambridgeshire, we have achieved as low a carbon footprint as possible at each stage of our logistics operation.”

The Logistics Hub not only manages materials leaving HS2 sites but will also begin managing the delivery of 100,000 tunnel segments rings which STRABAG are due to begin producing at their new facility in Hartlepool. Like the spoil, the segments will be transported using rail, rather than local roads. Combined with the removal of spoil, it is estimated that the London Logistics Hub operations will remove the need for one million lorry journeys over the duration of the HS2 project.