Pontypridd Retaining Wall, Network Rail

Bringing stability to South Wales rail scheme

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Project Overview

Client Network Rail
Project Value £2m
Expertise Civil Engineering
Sector Rail
Timeline March 2017 - February 2018
Location Wales
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Project Summary

An intricately planned maintenance scheme, the Pontypridd Retaining Wall project involved the stabilisation of a 70m long and 7.5m high section of an existing failed retaining wall. At its closest point, our works programme was undertaken just 2.3m from the live railway line on the south side of Pontypridd Railway Station (South Wales).

In addition to strengthening adjacent sections of the steep railway embankment, we also reconstructed the existing drainage channels and pipework, and conducted repairs to the signals and telecoms cable toughing. In recognition of the positive community engagement associated with this project, it was named as the winner of the Considerate Constructors Scheme – Ivor Goodsite Hoarding Competition (2017).

The detail

Noteworthy for the effective management of possessions and the on-time delivery of works, this project has contributed to the “safe and efficient management” of the rail network in Wales.

Initially, finn and filter drains were installed with two layers of steel reinforcing fixed to the face of the wall, before 150m3 of spray concrete was applied to the east and west sections. This process secured the section of the wall that remained intact. In turn, the failed section of the wall was cleared over the course of two-night possessions, using a combination of trained abseilers and Road Rail Vehicles (RRVs).

Once the area was removed, and due to the sensitive nature of work close to the unstable rock face, 110 one-tonne bags were filled by hand and then removed from site using the RRVs. Subsequently, the stabilisation works were completed with the construction of a new gabion basket wall that was filled with no-fines concrete. And, following the completion of the rock bolting and associated works, the existing drainage channels and pipework were reconstructed, and the signals and telecoms cable toughing repaired.

Project Gallery

“The engagement at project conception, I believe, was over and above what any other contractor has achieved for me during my four years as a delivery manager."

Richard Compton, Works Delivery Manager (Civils), Network Rail