Crossrail contractor Colas needed to replace the ballast on a single-wide track at Gidea Park Station with minimal track disruption but their excavator arms couldn't reach across the platform.
The project in numbers
- Up to 500 tonnes of ballast per hour
- Entire project had to be completed over a bank-holiday weekend
- 3x Coveya HC1000 Monstaveyas , each 1m wide and 10-12m long including unique wheeled frames
Gidea Park Railway Station in East London 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 extending its platforms to accommodate the Crossrail trains. In addition to the extension, the station needed a complete ballast replacement .
For Crossrail contractor Colas, there was a single track on one side of a platform meaning this was not a standard excavation. Normally, for double-wide tracks, one track is removed and ballast is shifted into an open-top railcar on the adjacent track using an excavator. New ballast is then brought in on the next train and unloaded by the same excavator.
The ballast on the single track had to be moved across the platform: a distance that is too far for an excavator to reach. In addition, Colas had only a bank-holiday weekend to complete the entire ballast replacement. It was clear that a bespoke solution was required.
Colas needed an innovative solution that would minimise track disruption and help them complete the work quickly and reliably.
Colas asked Coveya to help them find an efficient and reliable resolution that would keep the project on schedule. Coveya worked closely with Colas, creating a bespoke conveyor solution for the project. This included unique wheeled frames that were manufactured and trialled at Coveya's Bristol workshop.
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. 3 conveyors worked in parallel to remove the old ballast before being turned round to carry the new ballast to the track.
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.
Working with Coveya
Colas watched and practiced the easy setup and operation of the solution at Coveya's workshop, which meant they were able to make the most of their track possession time.
Following the demonstration, Coveya 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.
Coveya’s conveyor solution was a great success for the Gidea Park project, and the station ballast was moved in just a few days: on budget and on time.