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PORR slab track technology for High Speed Two (HS2)

Facts and Figures
Company PORR UK Ltd.
Principal HS2 Ltd.
Location Phase 1 London – Birmingham and Phase 2a Birmingham – Crewe - United Kingdom
Type Slab track system
Runtime 01.2021 - 04.2029

Slab Track Austria for HS2, the largest railway project in Europe.

High Speed Two, or more frequently called HS2, the most significant infrastructure project in Great Britain in centuries, will be built with the PORR-patented Slab Track Austria technology. The new Y-shaped railway undertaking will connect London and Birmingham in Phase 1. In Phase 2, the line will continue from Birmingham to Manchester in the West, and from Birmingham to Leeds in the East. Part of the Western Leg is Phase 2a which will run from Birmingham to Crewe.

PORR has been entrusted to provide professional services such as consulting on and design of precast slab track. Production and supply of precast concrete track slabs for the construction of 338km on earthworks as well as viaducts for Phase 1 and 115km for Phase 2a were further parts of the awarded contract. A slab track system for tunnel sections, as well as construction works for the new high-speed line will be a part of a separate procurement.

Trailblaizing approach in Digital Engineering .

HS2 is currently the largest railway project in Europe and provides an industry-transforming opportunity to use Digital Engineering through application of BIM, short for Building Information Modelling.

BIM has become a standard for the construction of buildings and localized civil strucutures, such as bridges and tunnels. HS2 is now one of the pioneer major projects to use BIM for a long linear construction site spreading across hundreds of kilometres, and integrating hundreds of disciplines and structures. PORR is excited about contributing through design and supply of precast slab track to enhance the benefits that digital engineering provides, covering the entire life cyle of this railway link. This includes all the stages of the project, beginning from design, through construction, to operations and maintenance.

High speed railway development and innovation.

Previous record-setting speeds for new lines in Europe topped 300km/h, most recently with construction of the major new link, VDE 8 in Germany, where Slab Track Austria has been in use since 2015.

With the delivery of slab track for HS2, PORR continues to advance its technology for an operating speed of 360km/h, which is unprecedented on this continent.

Environment and sustainability at the heart of our delivery of the project

New high speed railway connections are not only key for improved and fast travel but also for reducing CO2 emissions caused by transport activites. Slab track form has been gaining ground as the preferred way to build high speed railway lines to serve the needs of the ever-increasing demand for fast, reliable and sustainable mobility.

In executing the HS2 contract, a gentle approach to the environment and local communities will drive our acitivites. This has led to the decision to establish our factory in Somerset, in direct proximity of the source of aggregates used for the production of the track slabs, in order to significantly reduce the impact on both the environment and the local community.

Our pro-active focus on re-use of water resources, minimising and recycling of waste, green energy, and care for the biodiversity integrated into the manufacturing process is in line with the client’s objectives for this transformative project.

After the project’s completion, the almost maintenance-free Slab Track Austria technology will enable sustainable high-speed travel throughout the full life cycle of over 60 years.