Potential Technologies Used in the £106 Billion HS2 Rail Project

Table of Contents

Could you be using the same technologies as the ones potentially used in the “High Speed 2” rail project? In this article we explore the top technologies which could be used in HS2 trains; alongside an overview of the advantages of the HS2 rail project.

High Speed Trains
Eurostars at Waterloo Station – Current High Speed Trains in the UK

What is HS2?

High Speed 2 (HS2) is a proposed rail project in the UK that plans to connect London, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Crewe and Sheffield with new 225 mph trains, carrying up to 26,000 people per hour. The project was recently given the green light by the UK government, aiming to have the first phase (shown below) completed by 2028-31, and the second phase completed by 2035-40.

High speed 2 rail map
The Proposed HS2 Rail Map – Sheffield not included on map

Advantages of HS2


Recent government claims predict that 4.5 million flights and 9 million road journeys will be transferred through HS2 annually, effectively reducing traffic,  vehicle pollution, and the number of large goods vehicles on the roads. Additionally, due to the trains making fewer stops between cities, less energy will be spent on repeatedly braking and accelerating. This reduced energy consumption will contribute towards better sustainability, which leads to a reduction of human effects on global warming.


Multiple forecasts predict approximately 100,000 new jobs could be generated throughout the entire HS2 timeline. Additionally, with higher rates of regional competition, and greater productivity of transport achieved, the KPMG estimates up to 4.2% growth in certain city regions’ GDPs and a total benefit of £15 billion a year for the UK.


The main cities in the South, Midlands and North of England will become better connected, especially benefiting from shorter journey times. This improved connectivity is likely to improve trade between these cities, leading to a more thriving economy.

Arguments Against HS2


The estimated cost of the project has increased by a large margin since its initial estimate of £32.7 billion in 2009. As a result, it’s uncertain whether the current price estimate will stop here or carry on increasing.

High Speed Not Necessary

Some opponents of HS2 argue that having high speed trains is not a priority while technologies such as video conferencing exist.

japan high speed train
Japan’s Current “Shinkansen” High Speed Train – Capable of Reaching a Speed of 200 mph

Top Technologies Potentially Used in HS2

Direct Glazing 

Betamate 2700 is a two component polyurethane adhesive that is frequently used for glass bonding. It is black in colour – ideal for bonding to dark window panels, processes in 15-25 minutes at room temperature, is non-sagging, and is highly resistant to harsh chemicals and conditions. Additionally, the Betamate 2700 meets the EN 45545 railway standard, making it fit for use in HS2 trains.

Betamate 7120 is a one component polyurethane adhesive that is used as a sealing solution for filling the frame around the glass. It provides a generous working time and excellent UV stability, making it ideal for the sealing of internal and external glazing. Furthermore, its medium viscosity and low modulus make it a great sealant by reducing the effects of NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harshness). Betamate 7120 is usually used in conjunction with Betamate 2700; with Betamate 7120 acting as the sealant and Betamate 2700 acting as the adhesive.

Betaseal 1590 CT is an one component polyurethane adhesive that can effectively replace the combination of Betamate 2700 and Betamate 7120 in one product. It is easy to use, requiring no special equipment, and is also black in colour. It has an ideal working time for big glass panels, provides fast curing – ensuring more efficient manufacturing processes, and is non conductive. Additionally, it is resistant to harsh chemicals and conditions, being stable from -40°C to 100°C. Due to these reasons, Betaseal 1590 CT is currently Antala’s forerunner product for potential direct glazing solutions in HS2 trains.

Lightweight Structural Bonding

Structural bonding offered by adhesives and sealants are more sustainable alternatives to steel and aluminium solutions. This is due to their lighter weight and faster application, which improves efficiency and reduces energy consumption.

Betaseal 1590 CT is a product that can be used for lightweight structural bonding solutions in HS2 trains, as well as direct glazing solutions. Its high modulus and tensile strength combined with its excellent sag and bead stability make it an ideal choice for bonding train panels.

For more adhesive and sealing solutions for lightweight structural bonding, check out the Betamate and Betaforce range of products offered by Dupont.

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EN 45545 Railway Applications

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