East West Rail structures

East West Rail structures

In 2019 VolkerGround Engineering was awarded a contract by East West Rail (EWR) Alliance (AtkinsRéalis, Laing O’Rourke, Network Rail and VolkerRail), who have been working together to deliver the East West Rail Phase 2 project from Bicester to Bletchley. The works will enable the re-introduction of passenger services between Oxford and Bletchley via Milton Keynes.

Prior to the commencement of the main contract, VolkerGround Engineering successfully demonstrated that a 26.4m cage could be plunged into a Continuous Flight Auger (CFA) pile to the correct level. The concrete mix was specified by VolkerGround Engineering and the cage achieved toe level, without the requirement of utilising a cage vibrator. This trial, carried out at Salden Wood, facilitated the method to be switched from rotary to CFA which provided the scheme a cost and programme saving of 30%.

Following the successful trial, VolkerGround Engineering’s 16-structure programme of works commenced in October 2020 and completed in 2022. This included the installation of 600mm diameter CFA piles with our PVE 55 piling rig, and 600mm diameter Sectional Flight Auger (SFA) piles installed with a Klem 709m piling rig. These works enabled the construction of lift cores, footbridges, overbridges and acoustic barriers. The team also installed a range of CFA piles to enable the construction of the Bletchley High Level Station building and Bletchley Flyover.

At Bletchley High Level Station, the teams worked under evening possessions to install steel sheet piles using a Movax SG75V, vibrating the piles to refusal and driving to level with our DH25 impact hammer.

VolkerGround Engineering overcame many challenges to successfully complete the piling works, which included severe weather conditions, restricted working areas, inter-site moves and working within the strict Covid-19 guidelines during the pandemic in 2020.