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Video | Japanese method to stabilise railway

Bridge farm ground works

Network Rail has released time-lapse footage of a 12-week project to stabilise half a mile of subsiding embankment beneath the Chiltern main line in Buckinghamshire.

Source: Network Rail

Cost-saving Japanese method to stabilise railway - Bridge Farm near Aylesbury

The dips in the tracks, which could eventually cause subsidence, was repaired using a Japanese Giken silent piling machine, to drive 865 six metre-long steel sheet piles deep into the earth to form rows either side of the railway at bridge Farm near Aylesbury.

These piles formed barriers behind which engineers packed 27,000 tonnes of stone.

Network Rail’s London North Western route works delivery programme manager Mark Evans said: “By using this innovative Japanese piling method we got the job done quicker and cheaper than traditional kit would have allowed.

“The Giken machine grips the neighbouring steel sheet pile and silently uses it to lever in the next one, and so on. It’s simple, safe and saves taxpayers’ cash - exactly how we like it.”

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Readers' comments (2)

  • Overall principles of the stabilisation seem obvious. Was not the Taywood Pilemaster 1960's the same pile driving method??

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  • It is Alan, this isn't a new method at all. At Fussey Piling we bought one of these types of machine in 2001, and currently operate 3 of them. There are dozens working flat out around the country, often on Network Rail projects.

    It's also not true to say that it is quicker with this method - using a vibratory hammer with a leader rig would have been substantially quicker. Silent piling machines are favourable because of the lack of vibration, not the speed.

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