The previous record for track-laying in a 48-hour period was 3,932 metres set by Network Rail High Output but the Staffordshire Alliance achieved 4,017 metres of (un-commissioned) track over the weekend of 12th and 13th December 2015, hitting a peak production output of 375 metres per hour to achieve 3km of track laid in just eight hours.
Teams worked throughout the weekend, using two new track construction machines in parallel to put the new track was in place.
The Staffordshire Alliance – a partnership of Atkins, Laing O’Rourke, Network Rail and VolkerRail – is in the final stages of building the new rail-over-rail flyover at Norton Bridge to remove a major bottleneck on the West Coast mainline. The new flyover is set to be commissioned at Easter 2016.
The work has involved construction of 11 new bridges, six miles of new track and a new 1.2km section of road, as well as four river diversions and movement of over one million tonnes of earth.
A cutting has been created for the new lines that branch off the existing West Coast mainline at Little Bridgeford, north of Stafford, with one line re-joining the WCML towards Crewe and the other running over the WCML to re-join the Stone/Stoke-on-Trent line avoiding the existing Norton Bridge junction.
Staffordshire Alliance manager Matt Clark said: “This is another massive milestone for the project that has been achieved on programme, with the whole Alliance team pulling together to deliver an exceptional amount of earthworks and track in a very short space of time. We are all now focussed on the completion of the remainder of this Railway Upgrade Plan project that will remove a major bottle neck on the WCML, which will be great news for passengers.”