Huge Victoria Road Crossover Box Being Put in Place

Structure will allow HS2 trains to switch tracks underground

Piling work near Victoria Road to allow completion of Crossover Box
Piling work near Victoria Road to allow completion of Crossover Box

A massive structure which will allow HS2 trains to switch tracks on their approach to the new Old Oak Common station is being put in place near Victoria Road in Acton.

Over 200 metres of sheet piling has been completed allowing permanent works to commence on the Victoria Road Crossover Box.

The work is being done for HS2 by contractors Skanska Costain STRABAG Railways.

The Victoria Road Crossover Box site is located to the west of where the new superhub HS2 Old Oak Common station is being constructed. The huge underground box structure being built will house a crossover track mechanism that will allow trains to switch between tracks, up to a design speed of 62 mph, on the approach and descent from Old Oak Common station.

The box will be 130 metres in length and 24 metres deep, complete with 1.5-metre thick walls constructed by diaphragm piling method, with top and intermediate levels of reinforced concrete props. The base slab of the crossover box will be supported is supported by 77 piles which will be installed 20 metres into the ground below the slab level.

The crossover box will have the same volume as 55 Olympic Swimming pools or 800,00 bath tubs and have 3,700 tonnes of reinforcement – that is roughly 1/3 of the weight of the Eiffel Tower. The depth of the box is the equivalent of six double decker buses on top of each other

The site at Victoria Road is also currently being prepared to launch the Northolt Tunnel Boring Machines which will bore 3.4 miles north west, as part of the construction of HS2’s 8.4-mile Northolt Tunnel.

Construction work on the Crossover Box near Victoria Road
Construction work on the Crossover Box near Victoria Road

Malcolm Codling, Project Client for HS2 Limited, said, “HS2 Ltd and our contractors, are pushing ahead, completing this work on time to meet our construction timetable. The Victoria Road site will house some of the most crucial pieces of infrastructure that are required to make Old Oak Common station one of the best connected in the UK, providing a quarter of a million passengers a day connections to the North, East, South and West across the UK”

The site will also be home to the Victoria Road Ancillary Shaft which will provide ventilation and emergency access to the rail line during operation. The shaft will have an internal diameter of 25 metres and will be constructed using pre cast rings at the top.

James Richardson, Managing Director of Skanska Costain STRABAG Joint Venture, said, "Our team are making great progress on constructing the crossover box at Victoria Road and are working collaboratively with other construction partners to deliver this exceptional programme of work. As we continue to build the HS2 tunnels and shafts between West Ruislip and Euston, we are growing our workforce and offer many routes into our industry so that our team reflects the diversity of the community we serve."

HS2 Ltd, and its main works contractors, begun main works construction of the new high speed railway after being given the green light from the Prime Minister in April 2020.

January 28, 2021