Network Rail has been employing a Japanese method of engineering to improve ride quality and ultimately safety, using a piece of machinery from the country to combat track subsidence that can lead to bumpy journeys and even derailments.
The manager of much of the UK’s rail infrastructure completed the 12-week programme of work in August to strengthen a section of track in England’s South East.
A team of workers drove 865 steel sheet piles into the ground with a Giken silent piling machine, creating a secure ares that was then topped with around 27,000 tonnes of stone. The Japanese piling method, which cost around £2.9m took place near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire, was praised by Mark Evans, a programme manager for Network Rail, as it was completed quicker and cheaper than traditional equipment would have allowed.
“The Giken machine grips the neighbouring steel sheet pile and silently uses it to lever in the next one, and so on. It’s simple, safe and saves taxpayers’ cash.”
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