For several years we have been sub contractors to one of Network Rail’s Main contractors. Providing maintenance to the rail network involves many trades, and our speciality is the cleaning, inspection and rehabilitation of the hundreds of surface water culverts which run beneath the tracks. Many of these culverts have had no maintenance for decades, and having been constructed up to a hundred years ago, can be in a very dilapidated state.
Our role in these operations include the actual locating of the inlets and outlets, arranging access across fields and along the tracks, removal of the silt and debris from within the culverts, and inspection of the structures integrity. Once all this is completed, we can then design a suitable rehabilitation package. This may include anything from minor pointing up of jointwork, right through to the installation of 32mm thick hot cure linings. Some of these culverts have been up to 40 metres long, with a diameter of 1500mm, which puts this type of operation into the category of major civil engineering works. When planning these operations, consideration has to be given to PTS and Confined Space training, transport to the work area logistics, scaffold erection, overpumping arrangements, and the actual installation of the liner. Lighting of the site is required during overnight work. Reopening of lateral connections from within the structure may also have to be carried out.
Environmental considerations include disturbing local wildlife as little as possible, the removal of arisings and contaminated water from site, (and disposal of same), and pollution control during inflation of the liner. When the works are finished, the area is tided up, and all evidence of activity removed. Mother Nature can then take over! Much of this type of work does not have to be carried out during periods of “possession”, which is often overnight at weekends, and very expensive. The biggest benefit of lining these structures is the relatively little time needed to complete the work.
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