Taking measures
RILA, Fugro’s unique train-borne track measurement system, has received approval from Network Rail for use in platform gauging (the clearance distance between the train and the platform edge) and will support current and future route-wide surveys.

Fugro RILA collects absolute track position data and 3D point cloud data of the entire rail corridor whilst operating at line speed and, to date, has captured over 40 per cent of the British network. Platform gauging approval further enables Network Rail to use RILA data to support the introduction of new fleet and the ongoing replacement of rolling stock throughout the country. Using RILA for platform gauging will also significantly enhance Network Rail’s ability to achieve financial efficiencies within its five-year delivery plan and positively contribute to their safety and environmental targets.

Network Rail has extensively utilised RILA on the British rail network since 2013 for a range of infrastructure projects; this approval for platform gauging allows engineers to make further use of the already comprehensive RILA dataset and opens the possibility for more detailed analysis to fully define the radii of curved platforms.

Delicate demolition
Infrastructure News 159 bRhodar has completed a 26-week project to remove asbestos containing materials (ACMs) and demolish the derelict Old Vic pub, which was situated on top of a live railway tunnel, above one of the South East’s busiest railway lines connecting the area with London. Further enabling works undertaken included the design and installation of a waterproof membrane to the exposed tunnel arch and permanent fill solution to the basement surrounding the tunnel, ready for the following development consisting of a new station forecourt and entrance to Maidstone East Station.

Due to the building’s position over a live railway line, the demolition had to be carefully planned and managed to minimise any stress or impact placed on the Week Street rail tunnel below. With the site situated next to the town’s main station, adjacent to the shopping centre and on a busy thoroughfare for both traffic and pedestrians, Rhodar deployed several operations to minimise disruption, including traffic management solutions and overnight town centre road closures to allow delivery and collection of large excavators and plant.

Andrew Fisk, director of demolition at Rhodar, commented: “The team created a bespoke project plan for Network Rail to ensure that the demolition was delivered to the highest standard in a safe and controlled way, setting the foundations for the next stage of development at Maidstone East railway station.”

From car to train
Infrastructure News 159 cOne of Birmingham’s largest park and ride facilities is set to open this spring offering hundreds of commuters an alternative to traffic jams and clean air zone charges.

The multi-storey car park next to Longbridge Railway Station will soon open with 629 spaces and modern facilities including

CCTV security, electric vehicle charging points, lifts and a range of fast and convenient ways to pay.

The £7.6 million five deck car park has been developed by Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), part of the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), to meet soaring demand for park and ride in south Birmingham and give motorists an alternative to the busy A38 Bristol Road.

From the neighbouring station, there are frequent train services to a range of popular destinations including Birmingham city centre, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and University of Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield as well as connections with the national rail network at New Street Station.

The development has been backed with£1.8 million funding from the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) and Midlands Engine and the construction carried out by Bourne Parking.

Working in collaboration
Infrastructure News 159 dIWJS, one of the UK’s leading providers of services to wastewater networks and part of M Group Services, has been appointed by SCS JV (Skanska, Costain, STRABAG) to support enabling works for the key Phase One Area South section of the High Speed 2 (HS2) route.

Under the terms of the agreement IWJS will manage GPS, structural condition and asset mapping surveys of the chamber, sewers and trunk sewers covering the section between Euston station and Ruislip, approximately 15 miles by road. IWJS teams commenced work on the project in December 2019.

Says IWJS Managing Director, Christopher Stewart: “Our CCTV crews will deliver a full utility mapping service so that all appropriate measures are taken to avoid service conflicts and collect detailed inspection data to identify any required service realignment works for the Area South route.

“Some of the trunk sewers that our teams will be working on day and night are over 11m deep and almost 2m in diameter and located under some of London’s busiest streets. Over the next six months, approximately 20,000 people are set to be inducted on the SCS project, so collaborative working will be essential. Given the scale and complexity of the project, we will work closely with SCS and other key stakeholders to mitigate the impact of the works and ensure that the best possible decisions are made throughout the duration of the project.”

Oh, Dr Beeching!
The Government has pledged £500m to bring back historic rail lines, improving connectivity for communities across the country.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps has launched the new investment that will drive forward the reversal of the controversial Beeching cuts. Shapps said: “Many communities still live with the scars that came from the closure of their local railway more than five decades ago.

“Investing in transport links is essential to levelling up access to opportunities across the country, ensuring our regions are better connected, local economies flourish and more than half a century of isolation is undone.”

Seoul train
Ricardo Rail’s Seoul-based team is going to provide system engineering support during the construction of Line A of the South Korean capital’s planned high- speed commuter rail network, through to planned opening in 2024. Ricardo has been appointed by SG Rail Ltd – the Special Purpose Company that will finance, design and build the GTX-A railway – to provide multi-discipline engineering and assessment services.

As the first deep tunnel project to cross the city of Seoul, the project shares many characteristics of London’s Crossrail, a project that Ricardo Certification has supported as the appointed Notified Body since 2012.

New HQ
Perpetuum, the Remote Conditioning Monitoring (RCM) specialist, has moved to new, larger headquarters, located near Southampton, UK. As well as accommodating Perpetuum’s 76 employees, the new headquarters will also provide increased production space for the next generation of Perpetuum products and more test facilities.

Perpetuum’s move to the new headquarters follows a significant period of growth, driven by the company’s ability to deliver outstanding results for customers who are able to save time in scheduling maintenance when it is required and thus improving the efficiency of their rolling stock.

It’s electric!
The second week of January saw Balfour Beatty, working on behalf of Network Rail, successfully complete the electrification of 77 kilometres of the Great Western Railway (GWR) line between Bristol and Cardiff. This milestone was marked with the first electrified train running out of Cardiff Central Station on January 6, 2020.

In order to deliver the works on time, over 750 Balfour Beatty operatives undertook complex works over the Christmas period, completing the final installation of the overhead cables at Cardiff Central Station, marking the completion of over 4200 masts and booms, responsible for holding the 643 kilometres of electric cabling associated with the 77-kilometre section of route.

Crossrail update
In its latest update on progress to complete the Elizabeth line, Crossrail Ltd has confirmed that it plans to open the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood in summer 2021. This latest forecast is based on the current progress with completing software development for the signalling and train systems along with safety assurance for the railway so that intensive operational testing can begin in 2020.

Mark Wild, Chief Executive, Crossrail Ltd, said: “I know that Londoners are deeply frustrated by the delays to the Elizabeth line and we are doing everything we can to get this railway finished and open.”

Hub opens
Transport for Wales has opened the South Wales Metro Infrastructure Hub. The Metro Infrastructure Hub will play a fundamental role in the delivery and future maintenance of the Metro. Primarily, for the first five years the hub will be used as a material distribution centre and after the first phase of transformation will evolve into a maintenance depot until the end of the current rail service contract.

The project management offices will be home to over 200 employees, creating a centralised location for Metro work over the next few years.