A diamond drilling specialist has completed key infrastructural work on the Queen Street Station tunnel upgrade, in Glasgow, United Kingdom – on budget and ahead of schedule.

Scottish company Corecut was singled out by Story Contracting – which was awarded the track-slab replacement contract for the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) – to take the lead role in removing 10,000 t of existing concrete slabs as the station’s tunnel underwent significant improvements.

The £60million (US$80 million) upgrade is considered to be the most significant feat of engineering along the Edinburgh-Glasgow line in 170 years.

An at a contract value of £1.25million ($1.67 million), it represented the largest diamond drilling project undertaken in Scotland to date.

The company worked around the clock, seven days a week for three months, to remove almost 1 km of concrete slab track, finishing on six days ahead of the scheduled date and working nearly 900 man days on site without a lost time incident.

The company approached the project in distinct phases: the first being pre-blockade works which included the diamond drilling of almost 8,500 112 mm (4.4 in) diameter x 500 mm (19.7 in) deep holes to allow the subsequent use of hydraulic bursting equipment to crack the slab, and 2,750 metres (9,022 ft) of tracksaw cutting to both the up line and down line to divorce the concrete slab track from the walls.

The second phase saw main blockade works undertaken, including the use of remote-controlled Robolition demolition equipment to remove 10,000 t of concrete and reduce it to manageable sections for removal by train.

When the new concrete slab was installed, Corecut drilled 3,500 holes to a depth of up to three metres (9.8 ft), helping to anchor concrete to bedrock.

Ahead of the overall project’s anticipated 8 August opening,the 40-year-old track continues to be replaced, power lines installed, and platforms expanded by a network of dedicated contractors.

Managing director of Corecut, Finlay Crocker said: “The Queen Street tunnel represented a significant challenge for our team, which worked diligently on a 24/7 basis in difficult conditions across almost 100 days from late March to late June.

“With the difficult environment and tight deadline in mind, it is particularly pleasing to us that we were able to complete the work safely, within budget, and nearly a week ahead of schedule, which is testament to the quality and work ethic of those involved.”

Location scheme project manager, Eddie Esdale of Story Contracting said: “It was a fantastic effort throughout by everyone involved at Corecut.

“A very innovative solution was proposed and delivered, and without it, the project may not have progressed as smoothly as it did.”

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