East Coast Main Line services between London and Edinburgh resumed on Bank Holiday Monday - just 54 hours after Kvaerner Construction was given access to the track over the Easter weekend to link up a 400-metre diversion near Wallyford, East Lothian.
The temporary bypass, under construction since January, will enable trains to continue using the main line while Kvaerner Construction carries out work with Railtrack Scotland to tackle subsidence risks beneath a 200 metre stretch, caused by old mine workings.
Under a £5 million partnering project Railtrack Scotland and Kvaerner Construction are responsible for all civil engineering, geotechnical, permanent way, overhead electrical, signalling and telecommunication design and implementation works.
For the next stage of this fast-track operation, Kvaerner and Railtrack Scotland will lift the affected section of track and construct a reinforced concrete ground slab on a piled foundation. Once the track is re-laid, trains will be re-routed back onto the line during a 29-hour possession in October this year.
The diversion will be removed and the site reinstated by November, when ECML services will again be able to travel over the section at speeds up to 120 mph. Since early last year, passenger trains have faced a 40 mph restriction and goods services are kept to 20 mph on the 200 metre affected stretch.
Gary Wilde, Kvaerner Construction’s project manager, believes this is the first temporary diversion set up on the rail network in modern times. “This unique engineering solution will minimise disruption to train operators and the travelling public while repairs are carried out,” he said.
Donaldson Associates, W.S. Atkins and Scott Wilson have been appointed for the various design packages. Motherwell Bridge Rail is carrying out all the implementation work for the railway infrastructure and Kvaerner Cementation Foundations is undertaking piling work.
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