Rail Solutions business designs innovative concrete bearers for complex Network Rail project
CEMEX have adapted their production process to provide Network Rail with a never-seen-before concrete bearer for a challenging rail replacement project at Lewisham Station, in south-east London.
More than 600 individual concrete crossing bearers ranging in length from 2.5m up to 10.3m were needed to replace the existing ‘scissor-switch diamond’ junction just outside the station.
Because of the complexity of the design, split bearers were not suitable, meaning single bearers of a considerably longer length than is usually manufactured were required, and a specialist mix had to be implemented to ensure the high standards needed were met.
The CEMEX team also reconfigured the production plant at the company’s specialist bearer facility in Somercotes, Derbyshire, to fulfil the order, while still meeting the business’s requirements for safe and sustainable mobility.
As well as the longer-length bearers, the project included split modular bearers with both full-size and reduced shear plates, specific bearers for many third rail positions, and under-bearer pads throughout the layout.
In total, CEMEX provided 2,185 linear metres of concrete for the project, accompanying 700m of new rail, 6,000 tonnes of ballast and 1,000m of conductor rail from Network Rail’s supply chain.
This sizable replacement project was in the planning for more than two years, with CEMEX working closely with Network Rail and switch and crossing manufacturers Progress Rail Services UK throughout. Installation took place over a nine-day period.
Terence Clair, switch and crossing business manager for CEMEX UK Rail Solutions, commented: ‘This was a multifaceted project that required an innovative solution to ensure the customer’s requirements were met safely and sustainably.
‘Production of bearers of this size had never been done before but thanks to the dedication of our team we were able to rise to the challenge. The new junction looks fantastic and replacing the existing timber bearers with our resilient and hard-wearing concrete products will ensure longevity for many years to come.
‘Our bearers are safety critical to the UK rail infrastructure and are the foundations that allow the country’s trains to run safely. With this responsibility comes a lot of complexity within our process, but we are always keen to work with our customers to create new and bespoke products for their construction projects.’
CEMEX’s Rail Solutions are an integral part of the business’s Urbanization Solutions offering, which is constantly innovating to provide customers with a broad range of sustainable solutions for the challenges of urbanization.