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Cutting a new track

Music mogul Pete Waterman appeals for help to stabilise a landslip on historic railway line.

M&J Drilling has recently completed work to stabilise a failed embankment on a 200m long section of the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) close to Gotherington. Contractor Walsh Construction working to designs from consultants Ground Investigation & Piling (GIP) and David Symonds Associates started work last autumn.

The work followed a collapse in April 2010, which left two miles of the heritage track cut off between Gotherington and ­Cheltenham Racecourse station.

Work to improve drainage and stabilise sections of embankment to prevent further failure, was in the region of£850,000.

Of this £500,000 was met by insurance and the rest from reserves and an emergency appeal fund named after music mogul Pete Waterman, an avid steam enthusiast and president of the railway.

Phase one complete

The first phase of works started in October 2010 and finished last month, the soil nailing element being finished before Christmas to allow further excavation, re-compaction and formation of engineered retaining slopes to follow.
In total some 330 soil nails were installed in five separate 20m to 40m panel areas to depths of between 6m and 8m using a Klemm 802-2 multi-purpose geotechnical drilling rig and a self-contained mobile grouting plant working on slopes up to 7m high at angles of 25 degrees.

The value of the nailing works was around £160,000 and the project was completed in five weeks, two weeks ahead of programme.

The line is currently cut into two sections as a result of a second embankment failure last winter. Waterman is currently attempting to raise money to fund this work.

  • More information and a link to make a donation to the GWSR “Pete Waterman” appeal can be found at:

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