High Speed 1

  • In 1991, the government selected Arup’s route for High Speed 1.
  • The line also serves high-speed commuter services through Kent.
  • Over 1,600 Arup staff were involved in the project. 

High Speed 1, formerly the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, put London and Paris in the 'two-hour club' of major cities. Travelling between them now takes just two hours and 15 minutes. An example of engineering excellence, the project has also helped to spark regeneration along its route.

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"The railways we are putting in now will last for centuries to come, so we need to get them right." 
Colin StewartWatch the video

The £5.8bn line is the first new railway in England for over 100 years, and the first built to operate at high speed – 300kph. Arup was instrumental in setting up London and Continental Railways, the firm that was awarded the concession to build and operate the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Arup also worked together with fellow shareholders Bechtel, Halcrow and Systra to set up Rail Link Engineering (RLE) in 1994 to design and project manage the 109km high-speed railway.

Arup's involvement with High Speed 1 dates back to 1989, when it developed an alternative route for a link between London and the Channel Tunnel to that proposed by British Rail. The 'Arup Alignment' – approaching London from the east via Stratford – embraced the need for the link to connect with the Europe-wide high-speed rail network and help to regenerate areas of north Kent and east London.

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Design book 2013 front cover
  • A Eurostar train on the High Speed 1 railway.Open gallery

    High Speed 1, formerly the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, put London and Paris in the "two-hour club" of major cities.

  • A Eurostar train on the High Speed 1 railway.Open gallery

    High Speed 1 brought about the rejuvenation of the Grade I listed St Pancras station.