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HS2- Britain’s new high-speed railway

News International-French

2 Jun 2014

HS2 Ltd’s engineers have started investigating how fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials could play a key role in building HS2- Britain’s new high-speed railway.

During a two-day visit to the National Composites Centre (NCC) in Bristol, UK, earlier this year, the team led by HS2 Ltd’s Professor Andrew McNaughton explored the opportunities of how to generate significant cost savings for HS2, through the potential use of advanced composite materials.

Working in partnership with Composites UK, the accredited trade association for the UK composites industry, HS2 Ltd has decided to look at the following specific components for further development.

  • Composite overhead line gantries;
  • Composite noise barriers;
  • Composite architectural roofing and station fittings; and
  • Composite bridges.

Professor Andrew McNaughton, HS2 Ltd Technical Director said, “HS2 Ltd has the opportunity to generate significant cost savings through exploring the use of advanced composite materials to develop innovative engineering solutions for HS2.

“Composites are extremely low maintenance and as such can drastically reduce the whole life cost of components.  Also being extremely light they can be significantly cheaper to install.

“Through working in partnership with Composites UK, it is our aim to build a strong andsuccessful relationship between the two organisations as HS2 moves forward.  Our collaboration will ensure that every possible opportunity is explored, validated and incorporated into the scheme thus minimising project costs and maximising the opportunity for growth in the UK Composites industry.”

Dr Sue Halliwell, Operations Manager, Composites UK also commented, “We are delighted to be working with HS2 on this initiative and their engineers have been keen to explore the potential of composites materials for a wide range of applications. To gain the maximum benefit from using composite materials they must be considered at the design phase so it is extremely refreshing to be engaged in a project at this early stage.”

Composites UK and HS2 Ltd will be hosting a one-day industry showcase event in London on 14th July to further explore the opportunities for composite materials in rail infrastructure.