Flexible rail freight upgrade supported by drainage solution

Flexible rail freight upgrade supported by drainage solution

Working with counterparts from Network Rail and Carillion, engineers from the Lanes Group have carried out a detailed survey and the cleaning of track drainage on the Great Northern and Great Eastern (GNGE) line south east of Doncaster, South Yorkshire.

The project was part of a Network Rail strategy to increase the capacity and flexibility of the GNGE network by creating new routes for freight trains, freeing up space on main lines for passenger services.

Network Rail has identified the GNGE line – one of the UK’s busiest main rail routes – as an important route for both freight and passenger trains, and the completion of this project is an essential element of its continuing investment in Britain's railway.

A spokesperson for Network Rail explained: "Demand for rail services continues to grow and the upgrade of this line was an important project to help meet that demand.  The timescales and scope of the drain cleansing and CCTV survey project were challenging.

"As with all rail projects, planning and preparation is key to success and this is yet again another great example of collaboration between ourselves, Carillion and Lanes Group."

The rail line had been lowered either side of a road bridge to create the extra height needed to incorporate the larger envelope of forthcoming freight traffic.

Trackside drain pipes then had to be cleaned and surveyed to ensure they had sufficient capacity to cope with excessive rainfall.  Lanes Group carried out the work during periods of track possession over two 12-hour night shifts.

A total of 11 catch pits and nearly 600 metres of 225 millimetre diameter trackside drains were de-silted and CCTV camera surveyed.

Lanes East Midlands Operations Manager Jim Hanrahan, site supervisor for Lanes, said: "Network Rail excavation crews removed ballast and other debris from the catch pits.  This allowed our jet vac team to complete the cleaning process and jet through the lines.

“A mainline CCTV camera team then carried out a detailed drain survey.  Their reports will be used to plan further improvements to the drainage system along this stretch of line, due to take place next year.

"All equipment was prepared well in advance, so it could be deployed quickly, maximising the amount of time spent working on site."

Three 3,000 gallon jet vac tankers were used the project, operated from the rail bridge.  One tanker provided constant jetting support, while the others continuously collected water from a roadside hydrant.

Three remote access jet vac units were also deployed, and were transported to the worksite, along with all other equipment, on rail bogies.  They were connected in relay, which allowed jetting to be carried out up to 300 metres from the main jet vac unit.

Pumps were used to divert water backed up behind several drain blockages, so the lines could be jetted, and the debris cleared.