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High Speed Railway

HS2 Ltd has announced a partnership with Bath University and the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE) in a five-year major study of the geology beneath the first phase of Britain’s new high-speed railway between the West Midlands and London.   

The investigation will focus on the civil engineering properties of UK mudstones, including those of the Lias Group and Mercia Mudstone, which are common across much of England and parts of Wales. 

The study will draw on over a million soil and rock samples and tests obtained as part of HS2 Ltd’s ground investigation programme for Phase One of the project, informing the design of the railway’s later phases further north.   

Greater understanding of these mudstones engineering properties will enable more economic design across large parts of the railway and will teach how to work in, and with, these materials more efficiently: for example reducing  the quantity of concrete in foundations or the overall volumes of excavations.  This will also have environmental benefits, including reducing the carbon footprint of HS2’s construction through savings in construction materials, lorry movements and fuels. Visit https://mediacentre.hs2.org.uk/news/five-year-study-of-jurassic-geology-beneath-hs2-launched. 44/20.