Project outline

A major landslip saw the movement of 326,000 tonnes of rock and soil along 160 linear metres of embankment, resulting in the closure of the line between Leamington Spa and Banbury. Following emergency meetings with Network Rail, Murphy devised a plan to remove the landslide and re-build the entire slope.

We removed 326,000 tonnes of earth from the slip area and landscaped the embankment, to create two slopes on a 1:2 gradient, new 30m and 4m horizontal berms, a 1:3 slope and counterfort drains.

Key challenges

In order to minimise disruption to the public, the works needed to be completed within a challenging ’40 days and 40 nights’ timescale. The site is one of special scientific interest (SSSI) because of its butterflies, bats and badgers, and is also a habitat for great crested newts. The project meant dealing with difficult mudstone soil conditions, as it was brittle in dry weather and loose in wet weather.

Project delivery and innovations
  • We introduced a satellite system, which monitored land movements of the area over time.This meant we could establish how the land would respond to the remediation works.
  • Our engineers monitored the tracks throughout the works. We used this recorded data, to make sure that the operational railway was not impacted during the works.
  • We installed a temporary catch fence, to protect the railway from falling debris whilst works were taking place.
  • A drone was used to carry out sophisticated imaging before, during and after the project completion to monitor changes across the site.
  • To meet the deadline we coordinated a 24-hour operation, with heavy plant and an average of 50 staff on site during the day and 30 at night.
  • A safe working system was put in place, including rope access on the tunnel portal, resulting in no accidents on site.
  • Works to the cutting were completed eight days ahead of the deadline and the line was handed back for use two and a half weeks earlier than expected.

Related projects

  • 326,000

    Tonnes of rock and soil was moved from the site

  • 0

    Hour operation with staff on site day and night

  • 0

    Was the year the cutting was designed by Brunel


Transportation at Murphy

Murphy is a multi-disciplinary specialist in the Transportation sector, working across rail, highways, aviation and ports to deliver sustainable solutions. From renewals to electrification, bridge building, highways and aviation, our award-winning team has extensive experience.

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