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Work ramps up on HS2 London logistics hub

Work on High Speed 2’s (HS2’s) London rail logistics hub is gaining pace, following the demolition of three massive container cranes.

The cranes are located next to the West Coast Mainline at Willesden. They have been dismantled and removed to make way for HS2’s logistics hub, which will support the construction of the new high-speed line’s London tunnels.

The 22M high cranes – weighing up to 29t each – have stood above the track next to the West Coast Mainline for almost 30 years. Each one had to be lifted and moved 100m to the side, so they could be safely dismantled away from passing trains.

In total, the 150,000m2 rail hub is expected to process more than 6M.t of excavated material.

HS2 Ltd project director Colin Thomas said: “Once up and running, the rail logistics hub will be the beating heart of our construction activity in the capital, enabling us to deliver equipment and materials and take out huge amounts of excavated material by rail.

“The safe and efficient removal of the Willesden cranes is the first step to making that possible, and a very visible reminder of the progress we are making in the delivery of Britain’s new high speed line.”

Once complete, 16 freight trains a day are expected to serve the planned hub.

HS2 Ltd enabling works contractor, Costain Skanska joint venture (CSjv), working with JF Hunt and ALE Heavy Lift, used a mobile crane to move the first two container cranes last year.

The third – and heaviest of the container cranes – was moved by the same team over the Christmas break using a specialist motorised jacking system before being dismantled this month.

CSjv project management officer Neal Carter added: “Costain and Skanska are making strong progress in preparing the area between Euston and the Colne Valley for the new HS2 route.

“The demolition of the third and largest crane marks the high point of a busy 12 months on site at Willesden.”

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