May Gurney contracted VolkerRail to lower track on twelve sites, along the Great Western main line, to achieve electrical clearance for the installation of overhead line as part of the Liverpool to Manchester electrification programme. In total over 3,100 metres of track were lowered over six weekends with two sites being worked on each weekend.
At Thatto Heath, one of the projects biggest sites, 280 meters of track needed to be lowered upto 237mm to achieve clearances for the overhead line to run under the existing bridges. VolkerRail over weekend possessions removed rail, sleepers and ballast to lower the track before replacing the existing infrastructure to the new design.
Drainage work was also undertaken to provide an engineering solution to the existing flooding problems on the site, in addition to the main task of track lowering.
Once the rail was thimbled out the sleepers were removed and excavation work undertaken, to remove ballast to the required depth and replace with new, including sand and geotextile. The track components were then reinstated and tamped to the new design geometry.
In addition to the p-way works our client, May Gurney, was required to undertake significant reconstruction works to the platforms.
On other sites the Medium Output Ballast Cleaner (MOBC) was deployed to undercut the track and screen old ballast for re-use. The MOBC cut upto 284mm which allowed the track to be lowered to the required design clearance.