Coveya helps rail contractor replace 500 tonnes of ballast per hour
Crossrail contractor Colas needed to carry out a complete ballast replacement as part a large refurbishment project at Gidea Park Railway Station in East London. Yet this was not a standard excavation: without a double-wide track, ballast couldn't be moved easily across the station platform. Colas needed an innovative solution that would minimise track disruption and help them complete the work quickly and reliably.
Gidea Park Railway Station serves 2.9 million passengers each year, and has been in continuous service since 1910. In preparation for its inclusion on the Elizabeth Line in 2019, the station is undergoing considerable refurbishments, including the extension of its platforms to accommodate the Crossrail trains. In addition to the extension, the station needed a complete ballast replacement.
On a standard double-wide track, old ballast can be loaded straight from an excavator into an open-top railcar on the adjacent track. New ballast is then brought in on the next train and unloaded by the same excavator.
However, at Gidea Park, where a single track runs on one side of the platform, tonnes of ballast needed to be moved across the platform. This is a more time-consuming process, made considerably more challenging by the fact that the excavator arms were not long enough to load the ballast onto railcars that far away. It was clear that a bespoke solution was required.
Colas approached Coveya to help them find a reliable resolution that was also efficient, to ensure the project remained on schedule. We worked closely with Colas, creating a bespoke conveyor solution for the project including unique wheeled frames, which we manufactured and trialled at our Bristol workshop. We were also able to demonstrate the ease of setup and operation of the solution for Colas at the trial.
Following the yard demonstration, we carried out an onsite visit at Gidea Park to confirm the feasibility of the conveyor in situ, measuring out the job and performing manoeuvrability trials with Colas staff before work began.
The HC1000 conveyors used in the project can be delivered off the truck and running in under 10 minutes. The Colas team practised their unloading and loading procedures and were able to make the most of their track possession time.
Coveya’s conveyor solution was a great success for the Gidea Park project, and station ballast was moved in just a few days, on budget and on time.
The one-metre wide belts of the Coveya HC1000 Monstaveyas provided a non-stop flow of ballast from excavator to railcar at the rate of almost 500 tonnes per hour, enabling the project to be completed on schedule and within budget.
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