HS2: 1,100 Tonne Viaduct Moved into Place over M42/M6 Link Roads

HS2: 1,100 Tonne Viaduct Moved into Place over M42/M6 Link Roads

In a remarkable feat of engineering, HS2, the UK’s high-speed rail project, has successfully moved a 1,100-tonne viaduct into place over the M42/M6 link roads in North Warwickshire.

The operation, which took place over a weekend, showcased the skill and precision of the teams involved, marking a significant milestone in the construction of HS2’s Delta Junction.

The ‘East M42-M6 Link Viaduct’ is one of 13 viaducts that make up HS2’s triangular Delta Junction. This critical section of the railway will enable high-speed trains to travel seamlessly between London, Interchange Station in Solihull, and Birmingham Curzon Street Station, significantly reducing travel times and enhancing connectivity across the region.

Moving a structure weighing 1,100 tonnes is no small feat. The viaduct, measuring an impressive 158 meters in length, required meticulous planning and execution to ensure a successful operation. The engineering team employed a specialist push-pull jacking technique to manoeuvre the viaduct into its final position, demonstrating the innovative approaches used in the construction of HS2.

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The viaduct movement was carried out in two stages. The first launch, which took place in February, saw the initial 84-meter section of the viaduct moved to its halfway position over the westbound link road. Since then, the structure was extended with three further steel girders and 38 precast concrete slabs, bringing it to its full 158-meter length.

One key priority throughout the operation was minimizing disruption to road users. By installing the concrete slabs before the launch, the team significantly reduced the highway closures required to complete the viaduct’s composite deck. This forward-thinking approach will help keep future closures of the link road to a minimum, demonstrating HS2’s commitment to reducing the impact of construction on local communities.

The success of the East M42-M6 Link Viaduct movement paves the way for a similar operation on the parallel West M42-M6 Link Viaduct. Over the summer, the identical structure will be placed using the same two-stage process, further advancing the construction of HS2’s Delta Junction.

The viaduct movement is just one example of the progress being made on the HS2 project. With construction at an advanced stage, work has started on two-thirds of HS2’s viaducts, almost half of its bridges, and more than a third of the tunnelling. Once operational, HS2 will transform rail travel in the UK, reducing journey times, increasing capacity, and providing a greener alternative to road and air travel.

As construction continues, HS2 is set to deliver a high-speed rail network that will enhance connectivity, create jobs, and contribute to the UK’s economic growth for decades to come. The viaduct movement operation is a powerful reminder of the incredible feats of engineering that are making this ambitious project a reality.


  • HS2 moved a 1,100 tonne viaduct over the M42/M6 link roads in North Warwickshire
  • The operation was completed 10 hours before schedule, minimizing disruption to road users.
  • The viaduct is part of HS2’s Delta Junction, enabling high-speed travel between London, Solihull, and Birmingham.
  • The operation’s success demonstrates the engineering expertise and collaborative approach driving the HS2 project forward.
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