Kvaerner Construction had a double celebration on Christmas Day this year thanks to the successful completion of two major rail operations.
While the rest of the country was enjoying roast turkey and Christmas pudding, teams in Ashford, Kent and Newark in Nottinghamshire were working around the clock to ensure that vital work on the rail network was completed on time.
In Ashford, on the company’s section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Kvaerner Construction had just 33 hours from the evening of Christmas Eve to jack a new subway into position beneath the existing Eurostar line.
The 950-tonne reinforced concrete subway, which is 27.4 metres long, 7.6 metres wide and 4.2 metres high, was jacked into a pre-constructed reception pit in a 20-hour non-stop operation. Once completed the pedestrian subway will replace one of the country’s last hand-operated level crossings.
Kvaerner Construction is constructing a 17km section of the high speed Channel Tunnel Rail Link in a £140 million contract with its partner Rail Link Engineering. Kvaerner’s section of the route includes cut and cover tunnels through the centre of Ashford and links into the town’s existing international station.
On the East Coast Main Line in Newark, the company had 54 hours from midnight on Christmas Eve to partially demolish and replace two bridge abutments with temporary supports. The existing bridge abutments, which carried the line across the River Trent, were reinforced with two new 20-tonne temporary supports. A new bridge is due to be slid into place across the river next year.
This is part of the company’s £6 million partnering contract with Railtrack to replace two ageing bridges on the East Coast Mail Line. Kvaerner Construction will slide out two Victorian steel girder bridges and replace them with a twin-track bow-string girder bridge capable of carrying trains at speeds of up to 140mph.
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