Project outline

On 4 November 2018, a train on the Cumbrian coast had been come into contact with approximately 80 t of spoil that had slipped from the rock cutting. Following emergency meetings with Network Rail, Murphy was mobilised to the site within four hours. We cleared the spoil from the track, so that the train could operate again.

We were then asked by Network Rail to carry out emergency ground investigation works, to support the repair of the cutting slope that was measured at 130m long x 50m high.

The works began in December 2018, to install a new 3m deep cut off drain and a 600 t platform at the crest of the cutting, to facilitate the re-grade works. The re-grade was carried out using 10 excavators ranging from 13t – 67t and 30t dump trucks. Over 60,000t of spoil was removed from the slope and 40,000t of stone was imported onto the cutting slope.


Key challenges
  • The site was positioned between the railway, the Irish Sea and a working windfarm. We could also only access the site through an active farm yard.
  • The crest of the site was positioned at the bottom of a catchment area, which resulted in surface water from the surrounding area being released onto the cutting slope. To overcome this, we installed a 3m deep x 600mm diameter cut-off drain, to capture the surface run off.
  • Due to the steepness of the slope, an approved temporary works design was in place for the Menzie “spider excavator”. This was to re-grade the lower section of the cutting slope, where the spoil would pass to the 67t long reach excavator. During the works, a further two slips occurred during storms, so we amended the design and process to resolve this.
Project delivery and innovation
  • Due to the emergency nature of the project, the weather conditions and the geology of the rock cutting, the scope of works continually changed each week. We worked closely with the client and the designer, to ensure that we could amend the design and process accordingly.
  • We used a Menzie excavator that was attached to a 35t excavator, which allowed us to access the lower section of the cutting above the rock face.
  • Scheme featured on BBC and ITV regional news.

Related projects

  • 0

    Tonnes of spoil was removed from the site

  • 0

    Hours between notification and mobilisation

  • 0

    Tonnes of stone was imported

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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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