Project Outline

Over the course of a 9 day blockade in January 2022, Murphy, in collaboration with Network Rail, successfully delivered essential drainage works on the West Coast Mainline at Kilsby, Northampton. The site itself has been a high risk location for flooding for a number of years, and was seen as an area critical to the infrastructure.

The works included over 1700m new Cess drainage, 90m of 6ft drainage, 4 UTX and full renewal of S&T troughing throughout and was delivered utilising 8 engineering trains, 2 tampers and RRV plant, working 24/7 for the duration of the blockade. Through effective teamwork between Network Rail and Murphy, a number of significant challenges were overcome.

Key challenges
  • Poor weather posed challenges to the project team.
  • Due to the short duration and accelerated program, the supply chain were unable to keep up with deliveries. To combat this the site team had reserve stockpiles of materials and re-allocated equipment from other sites. 
  • It was important to manage fatigue from the planning stages. It was obvious that there would be a need to have a dispensation in place for the blockade.
Project delivery and innovations
  • Pre-project engagement with the site team and contractors - the project briefing was done in conjunction with our One Winter presentation and CDP team to set the standards prior to the project going live on site.
  • Use of the Zap shelter and creation of the project welfare village.
  • Separate pedestrian and plant access was implemented.
  • Contamination protection on the existing ballast to save clean-up costs and time at the end of the project.
Key facts
  • Project was planned and on site in less than 10 weeks.
  • Land access was agreed, and welfare village set up in less than 3 weeks.
  • Trains were used to remove spoil and transport new material.
  • Focus was on safe delivery not delivery at all costs.
  • The project delivered almost 2000 metres of drainage in an area where drainage has been a historical problem.
  • The train operating companies were invited to visit the works to see the improvements to the infrastructure first-hand.
  • In order to manage fatigue, processes were put in place including increased breaks and 10 hour shift rotations around the train change over times. Hotel accommodation was less than 5 minutes from site, to maximise rest and a food van provided two meals per person per shift.
  • Works were safely completed with zero accidents or incidents.

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