HS2 | Marston Box Rail Bridge

The Challenge

“A world first”

We’ve collaborated with HS2 on various projects since it’s conception: timelapsing the approach of the Curzon Street interchange and capturing the boring of the 1.6 km Long Itchington Wood Tunnel to name a couple. Our latest collaboration is the Marston Box Rail Bridge, one of HS2’s most ambitious projects to date. Taking a year to construct. It utilises innovative technology to minimise traffic disruption by rapidly sliding the 12,600 tonne bridge over a distance of 165m into place over the M42 in just two days. A world’s first for bridge sliding.

The task was to capture the long construction phase of the box bridge through timelapse from start to finish. Recording the box bridge slide itself from multiple angles, showing the scope and scale of the project. We were also tasked to showcase the ground breaking new method used to complete the box slide.

HS2 scheduled the video release a day after completion of the box slide. This tight time frame added complexity which created the need for simultaneous shooting and editing.

The Approach

To condense a project of this scale into an engaging video, we decided on a combination of camera setups. We employed the use of 7 cameras in total. A wide angle timelapse camera installation at the beginning of the project recorded the bridge construction. Another 4 strategically placed timelapse cameras covered the sliding process over a two day period. Furthermore, a broadcast quality dslr camera added detail to the project showing the specific processes and hard work of the ground staff. Two flights using a DJI drone captured the beginning and end of the bridge slide, adding scope and scale to the project.

For any film crew the site is challenging due to safety restrictions. The multiple cameras and methods of shooting remedied the implications of these restrictions.

To keep to the deadline of the media release, we sent footage to our editing office for editing on the same day of recording. Draft edits were created and transferred to HS2 to make sure the video aligned with their vision for the project.

The Result

The draft films received positive feedback. Although the deadline for the video was tight, we successfully delivered the finished product on time. A thorough view of the rail bridge box slide, from construction to installation. Condensing a year long project into an engaging and snappy video. HS2 were pleased with the end product which formed a large part of their post Christmas press release.

Finally we’d like to say thank you to the HS2 media team for their great communication throughout this collaborative project.


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