HS2 Project Visit

Just before half-term, Ciaran D (L6th) and his fellow engineers visited Stage C1 of the HS2 Project to learn all about the incredible feats of civil engineering required to undertake a national project.

writes Ciaran D. (L6th):

The 24th of May marked the beginning of a great few days of engineering for me, as I looked forward to a day at Stage C1 of the HS2 Project. With the benefit of hindsight, this was such a great experience, it probably outshone all that was to come afterwards in the half-term!

Being a fan and user of the Eurostar, the excitement for  visiting Europe’s largest current rail infrastructure project and one of the UK’s most infamous Engineering projects was palpable. We began the day touring through the visitor centre seeing a scale model of the TBMs (Tunnel Boring Machines), which I yearn to be adapted into a Lego set one day. With all of us looking down the tracks of further education, the information we received from the two active HS2 Engineers guiding us was incredibly insightful, and I made sure to note down every name, and experience we could sign up for in the future.

After inspecting the nicest TIG welds known to man (found upon the bits that make up the ‘cutterhead’ of the TBM), we headed out to see the work of Florence and Cecilia (the twin TBMs), pit-stopping at Dominique. Dominique is the name for the Launching Girder, which is building the River Colne Viaduct. We’d already seen so much and by the time we reached the South Chiltern portals, the only thing bored was the clay of the surrounding Hills (pardon the pun).

Looking over the fresh concrete that was being placed before our eyes, we witnessed how engineering disciplines are drawn together in such a large project. One would think that aerodynamics plays little part in tunnel boring, but we saw the creation of what’s basically a muzzle suppressor for trains, hushing the soon to be implemented Alstom-Hitachi Shinkansen-esque stock whistling by at 200+Mph. We were then given a talk from one of the few certified TBM drivers, and he answered all our burning questions.

Having dug into all our queries about the site we headed back to the Visitor’s Centre, treated to awe inspiring scenes of the surrounding landscape. Heading back onto the coach, I can speak for everyone when I say we’d uncovered so much about the world of rail engineering, and I look forward to what the future has in store for all of us budding engineers.

Most of all, thank you very much to Mrs Mayadeen and Mr Sa’id for organising such a unique trip for all of us.

Other News