UK state rail operator Network Rail intends to build a new rail tunnel on the Great North Great Eastern (Great North Great Eastern, between London and Edinburgh). This will allow freight trains not to interfere with the movement of high-speed passenger trains.
According to a press release on the official Network Rail website, the new tunnel was being assembled at the company’s eastern depot. Now engineers have already made a special massive concrete structure. The work lasted 9 months.
The structure is a “curved concrete box” 155 m long, 9.5 m wide and 5.1 m high, with walls and a ceiling 1 m thick. It weighs just over 11 thousand tons (1,000 tons heavier Eiffel Tower).
It will now be installed on the British East Coast Railroad. Installation of the new tunnel will take place in Verrington, north of Peterborough, where high-speed east-west passenger lines cross the freight route, which forces passenger trains to wait for the freight train to pass.
With the opening of the tunnel, freight trains will be redirected, which will speed up the operation of passenger traffic and increase safety at the crossing. Another reason for installing the tunnel is to unload rail infrastructure on one of the busiest sections of the UK network, which will reduce track maintenance costs.
The construction site has already been prepared (guides and the necessary supports have been installed). The curved box will be pushed with large jacks. The work is scheduled for the end of January and will take about 9 days (at this time, the movement of all trains on this section will be suspended).
According to Paul Rutter, director of the East Coast Railways division of the UK, Network Rail, this format of construction of the tunnel has reduced the period of suspension of trains on one of the main railways of the country.
“This is the first experience in remote tunnel assembly for Network Rail engineers. In the future, we want to use this method of remote construction of infrastructure facilities on an ongoing basis whenever possible, ”explained Paul Rutter.
The tunnel is part of a £ 1.2bn redevelopment program for the UK East Coast Railroad.(Gudok.ru)