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Colne Valley HS2 Viaduct Specimen Design

Buckinghamshire UK

Waters edge view of Colne Valley viaduct crossing the water

Colne Valley HS2 Viaduct Specimen Design

Buckinghamshire UK

Client

High Speed Two (HS2) Ltd

Programme

2016 - 2017

Structural Engineer

Atkins

Demonstrating what can be achieved for HS2

High Speed 2 (HS2) is the £52bn high-speed railway linking London with the Midlands (Phase 1) and Northern cities including Manchester and Leeds (Phases 2a and 2b).

The ambitious project brings significant environmental and technical challenges. Chief among these is the Colne Valley Viaduct which crosses through beautiful countryside to the west of London. Indeed, the 3.4km-long viaduct was described as the “most significant visible engineering feature of HS2 Phase 1” by the British Parliament.

Knight Architects’ Specimen Design employs an innovative half-through deck that maximises soffit height to ground level and uses the superstructure to mitigate against wheel-generated noise. The deck supports follow a site-specific typology of short 50m spans in wooded areas and longer 105m spans, using distinctive V-shaped piers and an arched soffit, when spanning over open water.

The viaduct design includes a bespoke edge protection system, providing a transparent noise barrier, a guard against trains impacting wildlife and a safety parapet .

Knight Architects was appointed to develop a Specimen Design with SNC Lavalin-Atkins for the viaduct to demonstrate the art of the possible and to lead stakeholder consultation between HS2 and the multiple statutory and public bodies with interests in the project. The detailed design of the viaduct is being undertaken by the Align JV for HS2.

Colne Valley viaduct seen through the trees and bushes surrounding the water
Colne Valley viaduct visualisation crossing the water
Distant visualisation of the viaduct crossing the water

“We are delighted that this imaginative and carefully-considered concept… can form the basis for wider discussions with the communities around the Colne Valley and all those who value and use the spaces and amenities within it”

– Sadie Morgan, chair of the HS2 Independent Design Panel