Fast track piling

15 April 2008

Rail passengers speed past engineers from Roger Bullivant working to install foundation piles that will accommodate two bridge extensions along the route of the UK's West Coast Mainline.

Four rows of 10 augered piles are being created to support two pairs of wing walls to carry the rail bridges over a canal and road at Huddlesford in Staffordshire. Installation of the foundations will allow construction of abutments for two new bridges running parallel to the existing structures.

The work is being carried out on behalf of Network Rail and its contractor Nuttall to increase the number of rail tracks through the area from two to four in order to relieve a major bottleneck and increase capacity on the West Coast Mainline.

Each foundation pile is created using a 450 mm diameter auger, installed to a depth of up to 11 m below ground level, into the area's hard ground, which contains a mix of clay marl, sandstone and mudstone.

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