HS2 construction to Euston powers on with micro-tunnel build

HS2 construction to Euston powers on with micro-tunnel build

UK Power Networks has partnered with Barhale to build a micro-tunnel under the Grand Union Canal in West London to deliver power for HS2.

The tunnel will be used to carry power cables for HS2’s Tunnel Boring Machines (TBMs) set to build the high-speed rail line to Euston. UK Power Networks is providing HS2 with 45MVA of electricity supply to facilitate the construction of the high-speed railway.

Three new high voltage cable circuits around 3km in length will be energised to the Distribution Network Operator’s nearby substation which feed into the network that will power the manned TBMs. 

Each of the Euston TBMs weigh over 2,000t and measures 140m in length. They will be delivered to HS2’s Old Oak Common station site later this year and assembled ready for launch in the underground box. 

To connect the circuits to its Old Oak Common substation, UK Power Networks appointed civil engineering, infrastructure and tunnelling specialist Barhale to drive a 125m long tunnel beneath the Grand Union Canal, reaching the company’s substation on Atlas Road.  

Six metre diameter and 15m deep caissoned launch and reception shafts were constructed before an Akkermann TBM was deployed to drive the 120m long tunnel beneath the canal. The 1,500mm concrete tunnel was constructed from pipe jacked, pre-cast concrete sections.

The completion of the micro tunnel is a significant milestone for UK Power Networks and HS2 allowing for the final section of the 33,000-volt cable route to be completed.

Works are expected to be completed in spring 2024. 

Niki French, Head of Utilities at HS2, says, “The delivery of this power tunnel is a critical part of our programme to build the new high-speed railway into the heart of London. Through close collaboration and great teamwork, we have worked together to ensure the HS2 programme is maintained.”

For more from UK Power Networks, click here.

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