Spoiler alert! HS2’s enormous conveyor network starts moving excavated material

A 1.7-mile-long network of conveyors has begun operating in west London to move material excavated for the construction of HS2.

The system will remove the need for one million lorry journeys to transport spoil, according to HS2 Ltd.

It was switched on by HS2 minister Huw Merriman at the high-speed railway’s Old Oak Common station site on Wednesday.

The conveyor spur at Old Oak Common
The conveyor spur at Old Oak Common runs at 2.1 metres per second (HS2 Ltd/PA)

A total of more than five million tonnes of spoil will be moved by the conveyors from three locations in the area to a logistics hub at Willesden Euro Terminal.

Freight trains will then transport it to three destinations: Barrington, Cambridgeshire; Cliffe, Kent; and Rugby, Warwickshire.

The material will be used to fill empty space for projects such as new housing developments.

HS2 minister Huw Merriman
HS2 minister Huw Merriman described the system as ‘truly remarkable’ (HS2 Ltd/PA)

Mr Merriman said: “It was a pleasure to launch this truly remarkable conveyor system at Old Oak Common and see how impressive it is in action, as it brings us one step closer to our goal of delivering a cleaner transport network.

“These conveyors are just one way in which HS2 is transforming the future of construction, by keeping the impact on the environment and local community to a minimum while driving growth across the country.”

HS2 Ltd’s stations client director Lee Holmes said: “The launch of our conveyor system in west London is yet another important progress milestone for HS2 Ltd.

“This impressive network of conveyors means we are able to significantly reduce the impact of construction on the local area.

“Momentum on HS2 continues to build as the project nears peak construction, and systems like these conveyors are just one of the ways we are working to reduce carbon emissions in construction.”