DANISH FOUNDATION contractor Per Aarsleff is using one of its purpose-built rail-mounted piling rigs to install precast piles for trackside stanchions in Poland.
The machine is installing rectangular section precast concrete piles with integral holding down bolts, as part of a contract for the electrification and re-electrification of the Polish rail network.
Between 18 and 30, 3-5m long piles are typically installed in each six-hour daytime possession while the adjacent track stays open. Work also involves installing steel tubes and H section piles in some locations.
The project, which began six years ago, is due to last for another four to six years.
Aarsleff developed the rail-mounted piling system in the early 1980s for a similar programme for Danish State Railways. It is designed to rapidly install stanchion foundations while minimising disruption to rail services.
The system's design allows it to be hauled by train outside track possession times but it is self-powered, enabling it to move to piling positions during engineering works.
Aarsleff is now entering the UK rail market and has developed a rail-mounted rig to suit the UK's W6A rail gauge.
European registration of the rig as an international freight wagon has been completed and it is awaiting its obligatory UK ride test. Static tests have been successfully completed and approval for the in-possession aspects of its operation is also under way.
Aarsleff Piling, the UK subsidiary which will operate the rig in Britain, hopes certification will be achieved in the next few months.
Several road/rail piling rigs and a range of rectangular precast pile sections have been designed and built by Aarsleff for projects in Spain, Italy and Sweden.Two purely rail-mounted rigs built in the 1990s have a higher installation rate than the earlier rigs, capable of installing tharee to four piles an hour.