Aspin OLE renewals for Network Rail

Aspin OLE renewals for Network Rail

Client: Network Rail

Date/Duration: Ongoing

Project Overview

Identified as one of Network Rail’s most technically challenging OLE (overhead line renewals) projects, the Stratford to Shenfield Great Eastern route/Shenfield to Southend Victoria project has collaboration within Network Rail and uses an integrated range of Aspin solutions.

The Aspin contribution to this unique project has been described as ‘an efficient streamlined production process’ by Network Rail’s programme manager, achieving no overruns, delays or RIDDORs. It’s a complete renewals programme that incorporates foundation and structural elements, finishing with overhead line renewals.

Aspin provided a range of solutions that contributed to the project’s success, from ground investigations to consulting and design and delivery on site with its fleet of specialist equipment that’s unique in the industry. The route covers 36 miles, with over 1,100 foundations using Aspin’s
innovations and efficiencies to help contribute to the team’s overall delivery performance.

The Solution

The replacement of the existing 25K v AC, 1500 V DC, fixed termination overhead line equipment (OLE) with a modern equivalent form of automatically tensioned wiring, has efficiency at the heart of the project.

Early efficiencies included removing the over-engineered pile and multiple foundations. The quadruple pile Monoboom OLE structure has been streamlined to a single 762mm diameter piled foundation, further eliminating the need for transfer plates and twin piles within complex wire spans. This delivers significant time and cost savings with minimal disruption to rail users.

Foundations are installed in their entirety in a fraction of the time of previous methods used, and Network Rail’s programme manager had a concise plan that was communicated to the teams involved on a regular basis.

Aspin’s flexible, professional team delivered the entire solution from ground investigations to consulting and design, to delivery on site using its fleet of specialist equipment that’s unique in the industry.

The Result

Collaboration has been critical to the project’s success, with regular dialogue with both team and railway stakeholders including local councils and neighbouring residents. It meant that the project team (with the mission ‘One Team, Common Goal’) delivered efficiencies by working together openly to achieve joint objectives. Local staff and continuity ensured knowledge is retained and fed back into the programme.

The project has been achieved with no overruns, no delays and no RIDDORs. It has a clear plan and objectives with go/no go decision points. Working in key periods such as Christmas 2014, Aspin exceeded targets by delivering 43 foundations against a target of 30.

Safety is embedded throughout including Safe System of Work Plans and RRAP Plans, reporting and fixing issues quickly. The Safety Bus visit to Aspin ensured that safety was embedded in the programme.

• Weekend possessions producing between 50-60 foundations of up to 11.5m in length
• 77,896 contact wire tension lengths for the Southend to Shenfield line
• Over 1,100 foundations along with Trial Holes/Walkways/Concrete foundations
• Bespoke foundation design (Billericay station platform)
• Same NWR team working collaboratively with Aspin since April 2013
• Design changed to suit environmental areas including badger setts
• Section 61 red and green zone areas so teams were far enough away from residential properties to pile at night for higher output
• Design ground model provided by Aspin showing similar areas of GI (ground investigations) along the route
• Aspin’s own skilled staff and plant, including Movax/Fambo.


  • Rail

Services Provided

  • Consultancy
  • Foundations & Piling
  • Ground Investigation
  • Site Investigation

Specific Services

  • Driven Piling
  • Groundworks & Earthworks
  • Reinforced Concrete

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