Information regarding the track for HS2May 28, 2012
I recently asked on behalf of a constituent for HS2 Ltd to clarify if the technology currently exists for HS2 to run on ballasted train tracks. I have now received a reply which I have enclosed below.
We are currently investigating which track form is most appropriate for HS2 running at speeds of up to 400kph. This will enable us to make an informed decision balancing constructability, maintainability, environmental issues and sustainability over the whole life of the railway.
Ballasted track is currently used for speeds of up to 320kph in routine commercial operation and was specified inSpainfor up to 350kph running. We see no particular challenge in operating at high speeds with the right technical specification and quality of construction.
Along with Network Rail and London Underground we are supporting theUniversityofSouthamptonin its EPSRC funded research into further improving the whole life performance and cost of ballasted track and would expect to benefit from this work in due course.