Spencer Group has reached a major milestone on a £145m project that will revolutionise East Kent’s rail network.
Works on the East Kent Re-Signalling Phase 2 project have continued to progress well over the last few months, culminating in the installation of a new rail bridge at Rochester Station.
The steel bridge, located in Blue Boar Lane, adjacent to the new station, was swung into place using a 500ft mobile crane following the fabrication of the pedestrian walkway.
The installation, which signifies a significant milestone on the project, was completed in such a way as to ensure the track remained live throughout the process.
Other key completed works include a new footbridge at Mill Hall, Aylesford, which has replaced a pedestrian crossing, and the successful subway slide at Rochester, while works continue to progress well at Rainham Station and Strood Station.
Spencer’s designers have also been working in close consultation with the site team to design a new footbridge at Tovil, near Maidstone. The bridge has been designed to cater for the extremely limited access during construction.
Adrian Kilburn, project manager on the East Kent Re-signalling Phase 2 scheme, said: “The installation of the Blue Boar Bridge was a major milestone in the project. It was one of the largest pieces of work the team has had to undertake and one that presented significant logistical challenges. Piling was completed along with the installation of concrete abutments and bearing plinths adjacent to the live track for the bridge in the weeks prior to the installation.
“Other works at Rochester Station as well as works at Rainham, Strood and Aylesford have also progressed well in recent weeks and we remain on course for completion by spring 2016. Once completed, the project will have replaced old signalling equipment and increased capacity along East Kent’s rail network. It will also have delivered operational savings within the project area and improved network integration with other modes of transport, a highlight being the installation of the new subway at Rochester.”
The latest works to be completed on the project are explained below.
As well as the installation of Blue Boar Bridge, Spencer has maintained momentum on all works at Rochester Station.
Following the successful subway slide at Easter, station platform works have progressed extremely well. A new concrete retaining wall has been completed on the north side, the first phase of Platform 2 and Platform 3 piling has been completed and foundations, cross walls, platform planks and beams have also been installed.
The new concrete lift shaft and stairs to Platform 2 and Platform 3, which connects into the new subway to the platforms, are also under construction.
On the south side, a new 300m section of 17m long sheet piles have been installed, forming a retaining wall to allow the existing embankment to be widened for the new Platform 1. Bored, 15m long CFA piling for the platform has now begun.
Rainham Station has changed significantly in the last few months with the new Platform 0 nearing completion. The formation dig for the new bay platform track has been completed, followed by installation of the track and connection to the mainline. Asphalting of the new platform has commenced and the platform is ahead of its scheduled opening in Easter 2015.
Strood Station has also moved on huge strides in recent weeks. The widening of Platform 3 has been completed following the track realignment and works are now underway to lengthen all three platforms. In addition, design and planning works are underway for a new polystyrene section of platform to replace a section of the existing Platform 1.
Phase two of the scheme comprises the total renewal of life-expired signalling on a section of the Chatham Main Line between the end of the Phase 1 project near Sittingbourne, and the Victoria Signalling Centre control area near Longfield, alongside the re-control and partial renewal or modification of existing signalling on connecting routes.
Key components of the East Kent Resignalling Phase 2 project include:
• The creation of a new ‘Access for All’, three platform station at Rochester, including pedestrian subway and the decommissioning of the old station
• Platform extensions and a new turn-back facility at Rainham in the form of a new 12-car bay platform
• New platforms and extensions to existing platforms at Strood to accommodate 12-car trains
• The total renewal of life-expired signalling between Longfield and Sittingbourne, transferring the control of the signalling to the East Kent Signalling Centre (EKSC) – Gillingham
• The re-control of Strood from Ashford, Sheerness Branch and Medway Valley line to EKSC
• The renewal of life-expired signalling at Maidstone East
Spencer’s scope of work includes civil engineering, stations and structures associated with the project and is working with Atkins, Balfour Beatty, Medway Council, Southeastern Railway and Network Rail.