Project High Speed 1 (formerly known as the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) Client Union Railways and various Construction JV contractors Services Planning and Consents; Construction Environmental Management and technical services Project Period 1997 – 2007

 Project Outline

The Channel Tunnel Link is a 68 mile high speed railway between London St Pancras and the Channel Tunnel portal near Folkestone, Kent. It was the UK’s first high-speed rail project and Britain’s first new railway in over a century. Temple worked with the team to provide Planning and Consents and environmental management. At the time, HS1 was one of Europe’s largest construction projects. The project created 68 miles (109 kilometers) of high-speed track, enabling Eurostar trains to travel up to 186 miles (300 kilometers) per hour.

The project included new bridges and tunnels, with a combined length nearly as long as the Channel Tunnel itself. The construction of the line was authorised by Parliament with the Channel Tunnel Rail Link Act 1996. When the work was completed High Speed 1 in 2007, this new high-speed rail line halved travel time between London and the Channel Tunnel and also created a faster-shared line for domestic trains.

HS1 enabled the delivery of three major developments in Ebbsfleet, Stratford, and King’s Cross, and brought economic benefits to other regeneration areas along the route, through population growth, better connectivity, and greater employment opportunities. The new and revitalized stations particularly at St Pancras, now Europe’s largest passenger interchange, received many accolades and awards, for the painstaking reconstruction of the historic station.

The CTRL project was awarded the Major Project Award at the British Construction Industry Awards.

Our Services

We provided Planning and Consent services alongside Construction Environmental Management. The latter included technical services notably noise and vibration, air quality, ecology, surface and groundwater, and contaminated land.

Temple worked with 12 Construction JV contractors over a 10-year period covering around 80% of the route

Our Value

HS1 set a new environmental benchmark for the rail industry both in design and construction. This was partly achieved through a series of collaborations with British Rail Research,  Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, CIRIA, and many others. The environmental management system, which we played a significant part in, was recognised as one of the most rigorous and comprehensive at the time. It was designed to minimise the potentially significant environmental risks and impact of the scheme throughout its design and construction.

Temple received a number of awards for construction excellence and secured significant project cost and time savings with our innovative and collaborative approach.

Moreover, The Ecology Consultancy (working under the auspices of Temple and now part of Temple) made a substantial contribution to minimising the Project’s impact on wildlife, by working closely with the engineers and landscape architects to protect existing habitats and provide new ones in particular:

  • 1.2 million native trees and shrubs were planted
  • 938 acres (380 hectares) of grassland and wildflower meadows were seeded and
  • 15 miles (25 kilometers) of hedgerows created as wildlife habitat

In addition, there were numerous relocation and translocation programmes developed to protect wildlife.

“They worked well under pressure, coping with the constantly changing major project environment… reports needed to be of a very high quality given the high- profile nature of the project. They showed a high level of commitment and loyalty throughout the project.”

Ted Allett, Quality, and Environment Director

Key Contact