The South Rail Systems Alliance (SRSA) mobilised from Marlow Station, Buckinghamshire, for a two-week possession from mid to late November, where they had the job of renewing 4020 yards of track.

In the same two-week period, the team were also given the arduous task of renewing the track through two level crossings and seven user crossings as well as upgrading the platform/train interface along Marlow’s Station platform to improve passenger access to trains.

Due to the renewals being situated on a single line with a terminus (dead-end) station, only accessible from another terminus station with a turn-back facility, engineering trains were limited in length to just two wagons; normal operating procedure would be 20 to 30 wagons long per train. Consequently, to address this challenge the team created two large compounds to house the materials which included:

  • 454 60ft CEN56 Rails
  • 678 Concrete G44 Sleepers
  • 5505 550H Steel Sleepers
  • 7500 tonnes of ballast
  • 448 welds
  • 8700 yards of scrap rail
  • 6090 scrap sleepers
  • 1550 tonne of spoil

Over the course of the possession, the construction was separated into two halves, with one end of the renewal being scrapped out and renewed with Colas Rail UK’s Kirow 250 and the other half scrapped out with Road-Rail Vehicles (RRVs) and installed with Panel Lifters provided by McCulloch.

The track renewals through level and user crossings were completed within 12-hour road closures set overnight to minimise disruption to the local community.

To complete the excavations and bottom ballast installation, 13 tonne dumpers with the ability to spin 360 degrees were used in collaboration with the RRVs and bulldozers. The top stone was installed by Network Rail’s auto-hopper wagons, which were re-loaded from the large compounds with loading shovels.

SRSA at Marlow – Dozer

Speaking about the success of the project, Network Rail’s Programme Director, Brian Paynter said “Well done to everyone who was involved in either the planning or the execution of these works over the last two weeks.

“When you originally planned these works, there wasn’t a pandemic planned and some of the site access hurdles and logistical material challenges you have encountered have made it an even more impressive achievement. A very difficult site expertly delivered fully welded and fully stressed.”

The works were completed within the two-week possession and was handed back to the client on time and without incident.

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