GRP Ballast Board: Installation to Bridges at Berkshire, Wiltshire and Birmingham

Project: Installation of GRP ballast Board to Bridges at Berkshire, Wiltshire and Birmingham

Client: Osborne (for Network Rail)

Works Value: £90,000

The sites had to be set up in mostly in remote locations and power had to run to these worksites with task lighting provided for large areas for night time possession working.  Welfare facilities were made available and travel and accommodation was arranged for the teams of operatives.  Numerous vehicles were used to transport the large amount of required plant, materials and back up plant for when re-instating excavations within the track areas.  These works were achieved during weekend possessions.

The installation of the ballast boards was achieved by removal of existing ballast and timber boards.  This then exposed the webs of the steel which in most areas were full with track ballast, sometimes up to a metre deep.  This was then dug out, clearing the inner section of the structural steel web of ballast.

Angle brackets and stiffeners were then installed inside the web.  The GRP angles were fixed by tek screw to the existing web stiffeners and intermediate stiffeners were placed at intervals in the gap between the steel stiffeners to the steel beam.

GRP panels were fixed to the front of the steels to the GRP angles and intermediate stiffeners.  They were affixed using special sleeved fixings with oversized washers & secured with impact drivers.

Tack Ballast was then back filled against the new GRP boards.  Any excess ballast was then removed from the track and/or distributed to suitable areas.

Kidderminster Road Bridge (Birmingham) was a bespoke design different from other bridges due to the design of the bridge itself.  The GRP panels were fixed almost horizontally to cover the gap between the bridge pan and the side steels.



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