Salt Mines and Subsidence

From Mid-Cheshire against HS2download their paper here:

Stephen O’Brien MP for Eddisbury recently organised a meeting at which Members of Mid Cheshire Against HS2 made a technical presentation to Senior Engineering personnel of HS2 Ltd., the Department for Transport owned Company charged with design and construction of the proposed High Speed Rail link between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds which will have a massive impact on the Mid Cheshire countryside and the lives of its residents.

Presentation of a paper entitled “HS2 – the Engineering and Terotechnological Challenges” was to Andrew McNaughton, Technical Director and Andrew Went, Head of Route Engineering for HS2 Ltd and to Mr O’Brien.

The paper, written by geologist Ros Todhunter and safety expert Bob Taylor, both members of the Management Committee of MCAHS2, highlights the risks associated with running a high speed rail line over the Cheshire salt district with its poor ground conditions, large areas of active and historic salt extraction, sink holes and brine streams and the importance of having a robust safety system capable of managing and minimising those risks.

The meeting, which was an amplification of the written comments provided by MCAHS2 to the Phase 2 Route Consultation in January 2014, was considered by all attendees to have been a worthwhile interchange of ideas. Mr McNaughton confirmed that he agreed with almost everything that MCAHS2 had presented and was totally committed to the application of the highest standards of safety at all levels of the project.

While the detailed engineering phase of the Mid Cheshire section is still at an early stage Mr McNaughton agreed that HS2’s geotechnical engineers would shortly meet with MCAHS2 members ‘in situ’ to see for themselves some of the geological features that MCAHS2 is concerned about and relay their findings back to the management team in London.

Mr O’Brien commented “I have pulled out all the stops to ensure that a vital follow-up to the broad consultation on Phase 2 of HS2 (North of Crewe) has taken place here in the constituency. For those of my constituents, who are so badly affected by the outline proposals to have been able to present in detail their expertise and concerns, as well as seek vital assurances, from the senior-most HS2 Engineer and his team at this stage, has been critical to the future safety and viability of the line on this route. It was agreed that more research and follow-up work now takes place. I am glad that we have now got real engagement and attention – and well done to my MCHAS2 constituents and their colleagues for such a compelling and authoritative series of presentations!”

4 comments to “Salt Mines and Subsidence”
  1. Pingback: STOP HS2 | From the Archives: Rayleigh Waves and HS2

  2. Small wonder HS2 can take on even more top paid consultants when the serious part of route evaluation is being done up and down the line ‘for free’.

  3. Did the Friends of Chat Moss raise similar concerns with Stevenson before the Liverpool to Manchester line was completed in the 1820s, I wonder…and does anyone recall the rising of the spirits of Rannoch moor, that uninhabited and unstable wetland in the West Highlands ,when the line to Fort William was proposed, three quarters of a century later?
    One feels compelled to ask ,”Is this a genuine fear of something perhaps overlooked- or is it but another ploy- another delaying tactic?”

  4. Despite reassurances,I advise remaining sceptical about anything HS2 Ltd. say in connection with costs. The so-called “consultation process” in the Bucks.area could best be described as a farce. It was all about HS2 Ltd. “telling us” what it was going to do – No two-way exchange. At the start of the petitioning process,HS2 Ltd. admitted to the Govt. committee that they should not make changes which mean the Govt. “Pay more to deliver less.” So, tunnels etc.out of the window?

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