Tuesday 31 Oct 2017
Orange army use cost-saving Japanese method to stabilise railway
- London North Western
Dramatic time-lapse footage emerged today of a 12-week Network Rail scheme to stabilise half a mile of subsiding embankment beneath the Chiltern main line in Buckinghamshire.
Until this permanent solution took place Network Rail engineers had to make ongoing temporary repairs to dips in the tracks causing bumpy rides for Chiltern Railways customers.
Left unchecked subsidence of ground beneath tracks can lead ultimately to trains derailing.
Orange army engineers used a Giken silent piling machine, from Japan, to drive 865 six metre-long steel sheet piles deep into the earth to form rows either side of the railway at bridge Farm near Aylesbury.
These piles formed solid barriers behind which engineers packed 27,000 tonnes of stone topped off with soil seeded with grass for a neat green finish to the strengthened embankment.
Mark Evans, Works delivery programme manager on Network Rail’s London North Western route, said: “By using this innovative Japanese piling method we got the job done quicker and cheaper than traditional kit would have allowed.
“The Giken machine grips the neighbouring steel sheet pile and silently uses it to lever in the next one, and so on. It’s simple, safe and saves taxpayers’ cash - exactly how we like it.”
Alan Riley, Customer Services Director for Chiltern Railways, added: “We are delighted with this innovative solution as it has clearly delivered a value-for-money result and most importantly enhances the travelling experience for our customers. The work embraces a ‘think different’ approach to ensure the project has been completed in a timely manner and quality output, with the customers at the heart of this.”
The three-month scheme, from May to August, cost £2.9m.
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.