CK Rail safely completed over 6,500 hours of emergency work to repair and strengthen a railway cutting at Hever station in Kent. Engineers were onsite within two hours of reports a landslip had occurred south of platform 1 at the station on the Uckfield branch of the Oxted line. An initial incident survey and report identified significant ground movement had occurred and there was evidence of slope failure. CK Rail were appointed to complete the essential work to secure the cutting and ensure the railway line could safely remain open.
Excellent collaborative working between CK Rail, client Dyer and Butler, the Works Delivery team at Network Rail and local landowners enabled this emergency project to be completed as efficiently and safely as possible.
CK Rail engineers worked with a local farmer to agree the installation of a 440metre temporary haulage road through farmland to the site and this was created sustainably, using recycled materials. This temporary access enabled plant, machinery and materials to be safely transported to and from site, maximising the overall efficiency of the work carried out. Fencing was also erected to ensure the safe segregation of livestock from the haulage road and worksite.
The cutting was monitored for earth movement throughout the duration of the project. Before the core remedial works could commence a buried services search of the area revealed a UK Power Networks 11kV electricity cable was present along the crest of the slope. Following a site visit between CK Rail engineers and UK Power Networks representatives, protective safety measures were implemented, including relocating the proposed piling location to ensure a safe working distance from the existing services cable.
The core works included clearing and removing a total of 141 tonnes of spoil material from the cutting. Engineers then implemented the agreed engineering design solution which included the installation of a 45-metre king post wall to retain the slope, embedded 12metres below ground level to secure the cutting. A piling platform was created using 75 piles driven into the ground, installed at the crest of the slope and a retaining wall was constructed at the toe of the cutting with 88 gabion baskets erected and filled with 1,605 tonnes of gabion stone. The slope was also regraded to provide further resilience.
On completion of this vital work, demobilisation of the site commenced, including comprehensive remedial work to reinstate the surrounding area. Engineers installed 50metres of new fencing and planted two oak trees and 18 silver birch trees. CK Rail were delighted to have safely and successfully completed these emergency earthworks, ensuring a safer, more reliable and sustainable rail network.