HomeRail NewsCrossrail team learns to do the splits

Crossrail team learns to do the splits

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Moving a road rail vehicle (RRV) from one site to another can be a problem – but smart thinking on the Crossrail project in East Anglia has produced a solution.

A team from Network Rail, Costain, and VGC Group worked together to provide a solution to allow RRVs to travel between separate worksites under live overhead line equipment (OLE).

Because it is impractical to switch off too large an area of line, isolation splits are a recurring issue for complex rail jobs, requiring careful management of costs and time. As part of the £150 million Crossrail north-east spur project, cable route works required a series of isolation splits between Gidea Park and Crowlands in Essex.

The team, with input from Network Rail’s maintenance staff, carried out full risk assessments and produced a detailed project procedure which was accepted by Network Rail’s electrification and plant engineer. This allowed RRVs to travel under live overhead lines within possessions for this specific project.

Moving RRVs from one worksite to another involves travelling to the marker boards and informing the engineering supervisor that the machine will be leaving his worksite and travelling through the possession to a second worksite. Between worksites permission is sought from the PICOP for the machine to enter and travel through PICOP land. Before entering the second worksite permission is obtained from the second engineering supervisor.

By arranging to run RRVs to and from worksites under live overhead lines in this manner, better use can be made of resources with a consequent saving in costs.

‘The Crossrail Anglia project has been running since 2014, and this is the first time a road rail vehicle has passed under a live overhead line,’ said Jacques Kriel, VGC Rail projects director. ‘It was a result of a successful collaboration between the Network Rail project team, principal contractor Costain, and VGC.’

Mike Condon, VGC contracts manager, thanked all those involved in setting up the process: ‘It’s very exciting to be working as part of an integrated team to develop new processes which we can use going forward to deliver this logistically complex project as efficiently as possible.

‘I’m sure other projects will also benefit in the future.’

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  1. Not to mention new overhead wires that have been erected from Shenfield to Chelmsford and new overhead wires to be installed on the Southend Victoria line from Shenfield along with overhead electrical equipment to be erected and replacing the current structure and overhead wires that were been installed in the 1950’s as it was 15,000v Direct Current before the conversation to 25,000v Alternated Current as these new overhead wires are 25,000v AC.

    And also new overhead wires and overhead electrification equipment to be installed between Bow Junction and London Fenchurch Street in Greater London as it was 15kv DC before being converted to 25kv AC which dates back to the 1950’s and the remains of the current overhead wires and equipment between Ardwick Junction-Gosslop and Hatfield in Greater Manchester that dates back to the 1950’s and were 15kv DC before being converted to 25kv AC as it once was the Woodhead Main Line from Sheffield Victoria to Manchester Piccadilly that went underneath the Pennines when the Woodhead Tunnels were built.


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