Client: Network Rail

Principal Contractor: Story Contracting Limited (Rail Division)

Designer: Aecom

ROPETECH’s Role: Specialist Geotechnical Subcontractor

Location: Cumbria

Contract Period: November 2016 – January 2017

Following the successful completion of our contracted works at the ‘Eden Brow’ scheme ROPETECH were re-engaged by Story Contracting to carry out specialist geotechnical subcontract works.

ROPETECH’s work scope included:

  • De-vegetation and scaling of 9,300m2 of the rail cutting utilising roped access techniques due to the gradient. Works included the felling of mature tree’s up to 200mm diameter.
  • Installation of 255 number rock anchors to the crest and toe varying in depth from 4 meters to 9 meters and grouting of anchors with OPC grout. Anchors also required the installation of concrete head blocks (800mm thick) due to the depth of overburden on the site.
  • Installation of 4,500m2 of double twist hexagonal mesh and 500m2 of Maccaferri MacMat-R Geomat to the cutting.

ROPETECH’s method of working:

Works were carried out using various techniques including:

  • Installation of anchors by utilising Marini CID80 mast and Ripamonti EX170TH rotary percussion drills along with hand drilling via roped access.
  • Utilisation of track mounted compressors at the work face due to access constraints and a requirement to minimise impact on the adjoining land.
  • Works were undertaken during possessions.

Main Challenges and solutions of the project:

  • Drilling requirements; to achieve the specified anchor installations, we had to consider plant which could achieve this while working within the challenging access constraints.
    Solution: Drilling operations were undertaken using our Marini CID80 masts along with a Ripamonti EX170TH rotary drill. We had the EX170TH built with a double slew ring giving us the ability to drill in any position (including vertically for tunnel works) with an ability to drill up to 14 meters. We have also commissioned the unit to be radio controlled to ensure our operatives can better position themselves when operating it thus ensuring a safer working environment for our teams.
  • Ecological and access constraints; the access and working areas were saturated and ecologically sensitive which required us to minimize our impact when on site.
    Solution: ROPETECH utilised track mounted compressors for our works. This eliminated ‘tracking’ damage and due to its modern design emissions were minimised.

Summary: All of ROPETECH’s work was completed safely, within budget and within the programme duration. 3,500 man hours were completed by ROPETECH onsite without any issues or lost time. By working closely with the Principal Contractor and resolving potential issues at site level there were zero variations raised which further cemented our relationship as a trusted supplier. ROPETECH demonstrated their commitment to quality, safety and ecological matters by utilising equipment which has been specially commissioned by us to ensure we can deliver the most challenging of schemes.