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Niall Fraser discusses HS2 earthmoving challenges in Construction News

As Blackwell undertakes specialist earthworks consultancy services on the prestigious HS2 rail network project, Director of Special Projects, Niall Fraser reveals his philosophy on earthmoving and the challenges ahead in the latest edition of Construction News.

As Contracts Director on Blackwell's consultancy project on the first phase of the HS2 scheme, Niall is one of the key individuals involved in devising the earthworks strategy to create the route of a new high-speed railway line between London and Birmingham. Commenting to Construction News on the project, Niall said:

"When we realised the opportunity HS2 was presenting, we took the risk of investing, taking on personnel as well as equipment because we were determined to keep our pre-eminence in earthmoving. "HS2 have indicated that the bar is going to be set high on environmental, safety and innovation matters and that will be good news for all those following best practice, as it will raise the barriers to entry higher."

Devised to dramatically improve inter-city transport through high-speed rail travel, the HS2 project has been described in the Construction News publication as a 'once-in-a-career opportunity' for the UK's earthmoving sector - requiring the processing of up to 70M cubic metres of earth in the first phase alone. These volumes of earth will require the biggest earthmoving operations for 30 years and present a variety of challenges in terms of tight timescales and providing the required quantities of suitable plant and skilled personnel.

The first phase of the HS2 scheme is due to receive parliamentary ascent towards the end of 2016, with construction planned to commence in late 2017.


To find out more about the HS2 project and Blackwell's involvement, please click here to read the full Construction News article.

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