Completion of HS2 logistics tunnel

Press release 23/01/2024 17:40 CET

Skanska Costain STRABAG JV achieve key milestone as 847 tonne Tunnel Boring Machine breaks through.

Today (Tuesday 23rd January) celebrated the breakthrough of a tunnelling machine into the underground Old Oak Common station – marking a key milestone in plans to eventually carry the high-speed line into Euston, central London. 

The 847 tonne tunnel boring machine (TBM) named Lydia finished its near-kilometre long journey into the station box in a move that completes the construction of the Atlas Road Logistics Tunnel. Watch the moment the TBM breaks through here.

The 853m long tunnel, which runs from the Atlas Road logistics hub, is being built to service the programme to construct the line eastwards towards Euston. It will eventually 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.

Our Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture (SCS JV) constructed the logistics tunnel using the TBM made from components repurposed from a machine previously used to construct London’s Elizabeth Line. The TBM is named Lydia, a name selected by the local community, after Lydia Gandaa – a former teacher at Old Oak Common Primary School.

The SCS JV team of 100 has been working around the clock to complete the tunnel, working in shifts to operate the TBM and the above ground operations. They have also used their expertise to develop other team members at the early stages of their careers, including apprentices and graduates for whom this was their first time constructing a bored tunnel.

The logistics tunnel will be used to deliver materials to the two Euston Tunnel TBMs, including over 56,000 concrete tunnel segments manufactured by STRABAG in Hartlepool, and take away the London Clay excavated.

Bringing in materials by road and removing the excavated spoil for the Euston Tunnel would have been logistically challenging and would have had significant impact local roads and on the work to construct the station. The logistics tunnel was the optimum solution to enable HS2 to reach Euston. Once the Euston Tunnel is complete and the railway is operational, the logistics tunnel will be backfilled.

James Richardson, Managing Director of Skanska Costain STRABAG joint venture, said: “The completion of the Atlas Road logistics tunnel paves the way for us to deliver our London tunnels programme to Euston. The tunnel supports our continued commitment to reducing cost and carbon by removing one million lorry journeys off London’s roads.”