HS2 Colne Valley Viaduct   Colne Valley, UK

The Colne Valley Viaduct is a key landmark structure within High Speed Two (HS2), befitting its unique landscape setting.


The design for the 3.4 km-long viaduct celebrates the architecture of engineering with a structure that is expressive of power, speed and function. High speed trains create substantial structural loads and the viaduct design balances onerous engineering demands with a refined and elegant design, by using crafted and faceted concrete forms.

Robust, durable and self-finished materials are specified throughout to ensure the viaduct is low maintenance and ages gracefully throughout its 120-year design life.

Sustainability Case Study →

Structural spans and pier forms respond to the changing landscape of the Colne Valley. Where the viaduct crosses lakes, 80 m structural spans form a rhythmic sequence of low, slender arcs that skim lightly over the surface, preserving landscape views across the water.

In woodland areas, where more restricted views of the viaduct are experienced from nearby footpaths, shorter spans maximise headroom beneath the structure while the use of patterns and texture provide interest at a human scale.

Acoustic barriers run the full length of the viaduct to protect local communities and the parkland environment from train noise. Where possible, innovative transparent barriers reduce the apparent scale of the viaduct experienced at ground level, whilst providing daylight and views for passengers between two long tunnels at each end of the valley.

The 4m high barriers have been designed to appear as light as possible, clearly subsidiary to the main structure and fully integrated with the overall design.

"This design is the result of close and creative collaboration within the project team, who have engaged extensively with local communities and stakeholders. HS2’s Colne Valley Viaduct will be a structure to be proud of, that complements its sensitive landscape setting and provides long-lasting value."

Ewan Jones, Partner, Grimshaw

Colne Valley, UK

Project Type
Infrastructure →

Rendel/Ingerop & Jacobs