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HS2 launches major new initiative to share project insight with the wider industry

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HS2 Ltd today launched a major new initiative to share insight from Britain’s largest construction project with the wider UK infrastructure industry that will see the publication of lessons learnt, good practice and innovation from across the project.

The HS2 Learning Legacy project was formally launched at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) in London at an event supported by the Major Projects Association (MPA) and Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA).

The first tranche of Learning Legacy material includes over 100 resources covering a range of topics including Design Engineering & Architecture; Environment, Digital Engineering; Health & Safety and Occupational Health & Wellbeing – and has been published on a dedicated website at – learninglegacy.hs2.org.uk

New learning legacy papers will be published every six months, including technical papers, case studies, videos and podcasts with professionals across the industry. HS2 is also partnering with industry to disseminate the learning through events and engagement as well as academia to share real life case studies with post graduate students.

The launch of the project builds on similar initiatives at London 2012, Crossrail and Thameslink London Bridge project – but HS2 will be the first project to start this early in the project lifecycle enabling the capture of learning from the early projects stages such as procurement, initiation, design and enabling works.

Engineers prepare the launch area for the Long Itchington Wood Tunnel tunnelling machine.

Launching the new initiative, HS2 Ltd Chief Executive Mark Thurston said:

“Major projects like HS2 do not happen in isolation – we build on the experience and lessons learned from previous projects and rely on the wider industry to deliver. That’s why its so important that we pay back and offer the next generation the same opportunities to learn from our experience.

“Today’s launch of the HS2 Learning legacy project shows just how seriously we take that responsibility and I’d like to thank everyone who put time into sharing their insight and experience from across the design and early stages of the project.”

Today’s launch event at the IET featured a live panel discussion chaired by Andy Murray, executive director of the MPA, with Mark Thurston, CEO of HS2 Ltd providing the opening talk. They were joined by expert panellists Michael Dyke, MD of main works contractor Balfour Beatty VINCI and chair of the Safety, Health and Wellbeing Leadership Forum (SHWeLT), Rachel Skinner, President of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), Tim Parker, Executive Director of Projects at the Sydney Metro and Fiona Spencer, Director of Function, Profession & Standards at the IPA. The event was also live streamed to a virtual audience.

Andy Murray, Executive Director of the Major Projects Association, said:

“The purpose of the Major Projects Association is to improve major projects by bringing together organisations to share experiences and ideas. This is why we support the HS2 Learning Legacy which provides a means to seek, capture and apply lessons through the life of the project and beyond, not just between HS2 and its immediate supply chain, but within and across the whole major projects supply chain too.  

“Whilst it is not the first learning legacy, it is the first one to be established at the beginning of the project and enables sharing between all the parties involved.  I have no doubt it will prove invaluable for the initiation and delivery of future projects too.”

Fiona Spencer, Director of Function, Profession and Standards at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said:

“Learning from experience is one of our eight Principles for Project Success. So we’re delighted to support the HS2 Learning Legacy, as part of wider work across government and beyond to create a consistent culture of world class project performance: one where projects are consistently set up for success and deliver real benefits for people and communities across the UK.”

In order to ensure that that the information can benefit as much of the industry as possible, HS2 Ltd will also work with the following industry partners:

  • Association for Project Management (APM)
  • British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS)
  • Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
  • Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
  • Institute of Occupational Medicine (IOM)
  • Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET)
  • International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE UK)
  • Major Projects Association (MPA)
  • Permanent Way Institute (PWI)
  • Rail Industry Association (RIA)
  • Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
  • Society of Occupational Medicine (SOM)
  • Supply Chain Sustainability School

All learning legacy papers and resources will be published on the website learninglegacy.hs2.org.uk which goes live today and two books of technical papers, published by ICE, will also be launched. 

Photo credit: HS2 Ltd

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  1. The first ‘social nudge’ HS2 could do is to put the London to Birmingham – phase one, ADJACENT to the WCLM on maps. None of the diagrammatic maps are geographical. Constantly showing it as a totally NEW railway line several cms to the left of the WCML makes it look not as what HS2 is in reality. HS2 is simply adding an Up/Down high speed pair of rails that if space were available would have been constructed Adjacent to WCML. It is the by-pass of the highly congested existing railway.
    Once everyone sees HS2 for what it is – the additional of extra capacity, the naysayers will diminish.
    Secondly, the construction of HS2 phase one lacks capacity expansion. By the time HS2 opens, it will be over subscribed by trains and passengers. It should have been future proofed by either making tunnels and viaducts etc with four track future (or current) capacity.
    Thirdly, Old Oak Common lack sufficient HSR platforms. It should have double the current number with the southern four constructed with flying over and under passes to the GWR (and LHR – with a Delta Junction from HS2 from North – for the HSAir: (various northern airports)-MCR-BHX-LHR-LGW=CDG-FRA / BRU-AMS… etc)
    Fourthly, HS2 eastern leg is missing branches to Derby and Nottingham stations. There is ample room to either move the current tracks a little further apart or to construct HSR adjacent to existing tracks. These electrified spurs would allow for two, three, four trains per hour departing Derby an same departing Nottingham with half calling at Toton, OOC, Euston and the other half calling at Toton, LHR, LGW, (channel tunnel) – airports or city centres.
    This would eliminate all short haul flights in a 800 to 1000km radius of CDG airport. Trains at 350 to 400kph would make any two points within the radius to be less than two to two and half hours.
    There should be no internal UK flights to reach hub airports for LONG Haul flight destinations. Hub airports will only have flights to destinations greater than 1000km.


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