The Easter weekend is typically one of the busiest periods in the rail industry works calendar and the South Rail Systems Alliance (SRSA) continued that trend with several sites across the UK.

Witham Friary

In our Wales and Western division, the SRSA were working in Witham Friary, a small village located in Somerset.

The alliance renewed 4 S&C units and 285m of unassociated track over the Easter bank holiday. This involved full excavation, reballasting and then installed with a Kirow 1200 both from track panels built by the team on site and from tilting wagons.

The team were able to utilise some of the latest Gedo IMS equipment and the use of Colas Rail UK’s latest 09 class Tampers.

The team were able to fully weld and stress the site before an on-time handover to the client.

Gidea Park

Over the course of the Easter weekend, the alliance was also based at Gidea Park, Romford, where they renewed two S&C units, completed 288m of track renewals and the rerailing 200m of track, associated signalling and civils, much of which was effectively single line through the platform.

With our Kirow crane on site, the team made great progress, utilising the crane to both remove the scrap panels and lay the new track.

Following the track installation, the OLE team adjusted the overheads as well as fitting a new section insulator and 75m contact wire to ensure a reliable service to passenger trains. After completing the installation, the team set up and tested all equipment safely before handing back to the client.


Our team also undertook a 5 point end renewal in Guildford, Surrey with associated E&P works. This involved full excavation and sand treatment before being reballasted, the S&C was relayed utilising Kirow 1200 with S&C panels built both on site and delivered by tilting wagons. Our Signalling team completed various upgrades to the network during the same possession.

Our Signalling team in total installed:

  • Four HW2000 point machines
  • 21 EBI200 track circuits
  • Nine track conversions from HVI to EBI200
  • 12 Signal head conversions to LED (also including 10 theatre signals and two call-on signals)
  • One new location unit built at our Tonbridge depot
  • One Train Stop System Train Protection and Warning System
  • One shunt signal

The team were able to successfully weld, fully stress the site and achieve line speed.

Speaking about the success of the Easter weekend blockade, Colas Rail UK CEO, Jean-Pierre Bertrand said:

“It was fantastic to see the teams out on track delivering these works for our customers, which were meticulously planned in the lead up to this period.  The level of professionalism and dedication to safety was clear to see.  

“I want to thank everyone for delivering throughout the Easter weekend, I appreciate all your hard work during one of the busiest periods in the Rail Industry calendar. I’m truly grateful you all got home safe.”

The SRSA is comprised of Colas Rail Ltd, Network Rail and AECOM.