Waste transfer facility relocation ahead of HS2
High-speed rail plans were announced by the UK government more than six years ago to connect London to Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds. The new rail line, HS2, will carry 400-m-long trains capable of carrying 1100 passengers travelling at speeds of up to 250 mph, which is faster than most trains in Europe.
Phase 1 of HS2 involves building infrastructure for the high-speed line from London Euston to north of Birmingham with operation planned for 2026. Phase 2 (HS2), hoped to conclude in 2032, will diverge from Birmingham into two separate routes to Manchester and Leeds.
An FCC Environment waste transfer facility sits on the proposed route close to Calvert village in Buckinghamshire. Electric power company Western Power Distribution asked RSK for help in relocating the facility and diverting the overhead lines underground. RSK completed several ecological mitigation mini-projects and met the tight deadline.
The vast project included
• installing almost 500 m of semi-permanent and permanent amphibian fencing to help translocate great crested newts
• fabricating and installing three 3.5-m newt grids at site entrances
• removing 32 mature poplar trees using a 21-t excavator and a tree shear
• processing the timber and moving it to the landowner’s facility
• grubbing and processing tree stumps
• clearing excess branches and removing the lower branches of some 400 m of hedgerow and mature trees
• clearing 3 km of roadside hedgerow to improve visibility and prevent hedgerow slumping
• clearing brush from side entrances to clean blind spots and improve visibility.
The client’s project manager, David O’Brien, praised RSK’s work, saying, “RSK provided prompt, high-quality services and was always on hand to deal with any issues. I would not hesitate to use them on my other projects.”