Tunneling cost estimates

Paul Thornton made this Freedom of Information request to High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

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Dear High Speed Two (HS2) Limited,

I refer to a document published yesterday entitled "HS2 Guide to Tunnelling Costs" that can be downloaded from the link below:

https://www.gov.uk/government/publicatio...

I note that in Section 4, the guide appears to claim validity by comparison to a British Tunnelling Society benchmarking exercise undertaken in 2010. "The tunnel estimate example .....demonstrates that the cost rates set out in this guide are within the range of the collected data in the Infrastructure UK's cost review."

Previous published estimates of tunnelling costs from HS2 were based upon figures that were themselves derived from that same review. If the figures in this new guide are similarly derived from that same benchmarking exercise, it would be difficult for the cost rates set out in this new guide not to fall within the same range.

I would be grateful for your further clarification:

1. This document provides cost estimates under various category headings. Please provide information showing all the subordinate calculations that have been used to generate each of those published estimated values, so that the sub-components used are itemised. Some relevant sub components are listed under several of the categories.

2. Paragraph 1.4 advises that "HS2's designs and associated cost estimates are at an early stage of development and are therefore based on many assumptions". For each sub-component, please provide
a. the reference or source for each value incorporated into the calculation.
b. any assumption(s) applied in providing each value.

3. Paragraph 1.1. of the document confirms that the indicative costs "sit within a range of potential outcomes", and that those ranges have been omitted for "ease of use". Where a selected value was drawn from a range, please provide the range of values for that component and subcomponent of the estimate.

4. Several components of the tunnelling costs described are time determined. Several of the components are distance determined. The relative and absolute components of each are dependent on the rate of progress of the tunnel boring machines. At paragraph 2.2 it is confirmed that, for the purposes of this guide, a "long" average tunnel construction rate of 80m per week has been assumed. This has the effect of increasing the estimated costs. Please provide the information held by HS2 Ltd to clarify what is meant by a ""long"" average, and how the figure was derived. Please provide the information held by HS2 in respect of the mean and median tunnelling rate for TBM's of the size described, and of each type, in each of the geological types that they might reasonably be used.

6. The guide includes the cost of two new tunnelling machines for each tunnelled length of route. Please provide the information held by HS2 Ltd in respect of the estimated cost of
a. turning a TBM around at the reception end of a tunnel so that it can create the twin tunnel to that which it has already created, back in the other direction.
b. moving a TBM further along the line of the route, in the same direction so that the same machine can dig a second tunnel.
I understand both of these manoeuvres have been undertaken in the construction of Crossrail.

7. Please provide the most up to date geological analyses held by HS2 in respect of the section of the planned route between Stoneleigh and Packington that clarifies the geological features through which the line will need to be tunnelled and/or excavated.

8 Please provide any information held by HS2 Ltd in respect of externally validated comparative tunnel cost information updated since the Infrastructure Infrastructure UK cost review from Infrastructure UK that is cited.

9. I note that this guide is based upon 2011 values. What information does HS2 hold in respect of increased costs due to inflation and reduced costs through the efficiency improvements of new technology in respect of a. tunnelling schemes and b. general surface major civil engineering costs since 2011, and future projections?

Please provide all calculation information in the Excel spread sheet format, including the full Excel file that generated the table in appendix A of the guide.

As the company is aware, all the above requested information engages the Environmental Information Regulations. The determination of tunnelling has an enormous impact in respect of both environment and massive public expenditure. Parliament is being asked to commit to an undertaking that the guide acknowledges is based upon designs and associated cost estimates that are at an early stage of development and are therefore based on many assumptions. The enormous public interest in ensuring full and open public scrutiny of this project at this juncture is overwhelming. It overrides any possible claimed exemption from publication under the EIR's.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Thornton

HS2Enquiries, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

Thank you for your email to HS2 Ltd. Your email has been received by the
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For more information please visit our website - [1]www.gov.uk/hs2

 

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HS2Enquiries, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

2 Attachments

Dear Dr Thornton

 

Thank you for your email to HS2 Ltd.  We are considering your request
under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and aim to reply no
later than 10 July 2015.

 

Your reference number for the request is FOI15-1329.

 

Kind regards,

Jane Ivey

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jane Ivey | Freedom of Information Manager | HS2 Ltd 

Tel: 020 7944 4908 | [1][High Speed Two request email] | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter
| [4]LinkedIn

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, One Canada Square, London E14 5AB  |
[5]www.gov.uk/hs2

 

 

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HS2Enquiries, High Speed Two (HS2) Limited

6 Attachments

Dear Dr Thornton,

 

Thank you for your email to HS2 Ltd.  We have treated your request under
the Environmental Information Regulations (2004) and I attach our
response. 

 

Please note your reference number for this request is FOI15-1329.

 

Kind regards,

Jane Ivey

 

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jane Ivey | Freedom of Information Manager | HS2 Ltd 

Tel: 020 7944 4908 | [1][High Speed Two request email] | [2]Facebook | [3]Twitter
| [4]LinkedIn

High Speed Two (HS2) Limited, One Canada Square, London E14 5AB  |
[5]www.gov.uk/hs2

 

 

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