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Published on : Thursday, October 13, 2016
By installing an access platform secured to the tunnel walls, 15m above track, engineers are able to apply a number of layers of water-sealing cement onto its curved ceiling while MerseyRail trains continue to run below. The concrete is applied by using a robotic arm which is a much safer approach for the workforce as well as more cost-efficient approach. Once completed the newly sealed tunnel ceiling will not need any further maintenance for more than a century.
Adrian Bullock, Project Manager at AMCO Rail, Network Rail’s contractor on this scheme, said: “We are doing 160 linear metres of tunnel line repair, putting a steelwork arch in with 300mm of concrete, which basically will see the roof become maintenance-free for the next 120 years. “Usually this work would cost £14m but doing it with this new system with a live operational rail underneath allows this work to do it for £4.5m. That’s a saving of £9.5m for taxpayers – all while allowing trains to keep running into Liverpool Central and avoiding disruption to the travelling public.”
This work on the Liverpool Central tunnel is part of Network Rail’s multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade plan to provide a better more reliable railway for Britain.
It is in addition to Network Rail’s £340m Liverpool City Region railway upgrade plan – 10 major investment schemes set to take place between now and 2019, including a major revamp of Lime Street station, upgrade of Liverpool’s underground network and a new station at Maghull North.