Real CTRL work was under way in a gulley on the north bank of the Medway just south of McAlpine-Amec's Contract 330, which will take the CTRL parallel with the M2 motorway before turning off to join the existing line to Waterloo.
But the two Foundation & Exploration Services operatives on preliminary work were almost to the bottom of the last of their 40m deep boreholes for Rail Link Engineering. The blocky chalk cores were being carefully extracted in transparent plastic sleeves, labelled and laid to rest in wooden boxes. The most spectacular borehole site, said the two, was at the top of the hill to the north where several holes were needed around the old quarry which will be used as a tip for surplus excavation from CTRL.
It was getting dark as the last core was lifted out, the crew packed up for the night and we set off up the steep private track leading to the A228 where it is signed 'no public access'. But Nuttall's Medway bridge north bank repair team had left earlier - and padlocked the gates behind them. To avoid spending the night on site we lugged one of gates off its hinges and headed off.