Home Environment Electric forklift brings green benefits to HS2 construction site

Electric forklift brings green benefits to HS2 construction site

As construction of HS2 gets underway, and the company sets out to do so in as sustainable a way as possible, main works civils contractor Skanska Costain Strabag Joint Venture has been trialling the use of an electric forklift on one of its major construction sites in London.

The Eco Telehandler vehicle has been trialled on HS2’s site at West Ruislip and it is estimated that, over a week, it saved over 400 litres of fuel compared to a traditional combustion telehandler.

Manufactured in Italy by Faresin and supplied by plant hire company Flannery, the environmentally friendly electric drive unit provides the same performance as an equivalent conventional model but without the noise and emissions of a combustion engine. It delivers a range of further benefits, including reduced charging times and notable savings in maintenance, when compared to a combustion engine telehandler.

HS2’s air quality lead Andrea Davidson said: “HS2 is leading the way with green technology in order to reduce our carbon footprint across the whole project, supporting the UK’s green economic recovery and making a major contribution to the country’s 2050 net zero carbon emissions target.

“Putting the environment at the heart of everything we do at HS2, the project is well placed to encourage innovations and set new standards in the industry to help improve air quality on construction sites. We’ve set ambitious targets for our supply chain to minimise whole life carbon emissions, and Flannery have gone above and beyond these, providing an industry-first in the materials handling equipment sector.”

Niall Hester, operations director at Flannery Plant Hire, said: “HS2 have been hugely proactive in driving their green agenda and this is a great project to introduce this new machine. Working with SCS JV we identified the material handling requirements in this particular section as an ideal testing ground, and the site team provided good support for the process.

“Flannery Plant Hire are committed to protecting the environment from the effects of our daily activities. We are passionate about making sure we go as far as possible to protect the public, and beyond that enhance the environment. We’re extremely pleased with the outcome from the trial and are now talking to SCS JV about how we roll out more vehicles across other HS2 sites.”

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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