Replacement of wild insect populations with transgene-bearing individuals unable to transmit disease or survive under specific environmental conditions provides self-perpetuating methods of disease prevention and population suppression, respectively. Gene drive mechanisms that require the gene drive element and linked cargo exceed a high threshold frequency to spread are attractive because they offer several points of control: they bring about local, but not global population replacement; and transgenes can be eliminated by reintroducing wildtypes into the population so as to drive the frequency of transgenes below the threshold required for drive. It has long been recognized that reciprocal chromosome translocations could, in principal, be used to bring about high threshold gene drive through a form of underdominance. However, translocations able to drive population replacement have not been reported, leaving it unclear if translocation-bearing strains fit enough to mediate gene drive can easily be generated. Here we use modeling to identify a range of conditions under which translocations should spread, and the equilibrium frequencies achieved, given specific introduction frequencies, fitness costs and migration rates. We also report the creation of engineered translocation-bearing strains of Drosophila melanogaster, generated through targeted chromosomal breakage and homologous recombination. By several measures translocation-bearing strains are fit, and drive high threshold, reversible population replacement in laboratory populations. These observations, together with the generality of the tools used to generate translocations, suggest that engineered translocations may be useful for controlled population replacement in many species.