As part of the Department for Transport HLOS scheme, plans were developed to increase rolling stock numbers on the Wessex Route which is operated by Stagecoach South West Trains.
This increase in rolling stock consequently increased maintenance activities and berthing requirements at Clapham depot. To facilitate this additional maintenance requirement, it was proposed to construct a maintenance pit, with lighting, drainage, water and shore supply electrification to Road 8 in the carriage shed. Originally Road 8 consisted of flat bottomed rail directly fastened to a concrete slab.
Walker Construction was contracted to provide a new pit to the existing building on Road 8 at Clapham Depot. This included the removal of all existing trackside equipment, rails, fixings and buffer stop. We then installed a new Road 8 concrete pit, permanent way, buffer stop and rail stools, trolley system and walkway, together with all associated mechanical and electrical services and drainage. The depot was operational during the whole period of the works which were carried out in a manner causing minimum interference with the safe working of the Depot and no interference with the operational use of the adjacent areas. We ensured our works were fenced off to protect the public and station staff at all times.
Additional Works – Roads 6A, 34-36 Sidings
With a continuation of the same scheme, Walker Construction were asked to carry out the works to Road 6A which consisted of the removal of the existing old sidings and to replace with a complete new permanent way layout and tied into the existing approximately 35 metres beyond the maintenance shed. This also comprised of the installation of a new ETE (Electrical Track Equipment) System to Road 6A and all the associated cabling works and with the walkway adjacent to the maintenance shed having bulk head lighting fitted.
The works to Roads 34-36 consisted of the reconfiguration of the existing rail layout to allow additional carriage berthing within the depot sidings. Road 34 required to be shortened from the existing layout and had to be slewed which incorporated a new RRAP (Road Rail Access Point) adjacent to the Network Rail compound area with a new stop board fitted at the end of the road. Roads 35-36 had the permanent way equipment fully removed along with the track bed and we replaced this with a complete new layout. This included the slewing of the tracks, the installation of new sleepers, rails and fixings as well as extending out the existing ETE on these two roads. New lighting was also installed and some lighting reconfigured to suit the new rail layout. Lastly we added some new walkways between the newly installed track work.
Some planned works and activities were undertaken out of hours to help minimise any disruption. Deliveries and removals from site were planned and undertaken outside of the station’s peak hours. This was achieved by close liaison between the project manager and the station staff.
Ground penetrating radar surveys of the station area were employed for identification of services and underground cables.
Works were planned around the Depot’s operations and permits, blocks and isolations were specifically sought for these tasks. The contract manager and project manager received details of local emergency numbers as part of their Construction Phase Plan. These were kept on site at all times.
Daily safety tours were carried out on site and ensured the site was in a safe condition for staff, public and any visitors, they were used to identify and correct bad practices, and ensuring equipment was serviceable and safe.
We only really encountered one problem on this project which was a drainage issue whereby there was a drain run crossing through the new pit construction. After liaising with the client a decision was reached to make a diversion to the existing run by adding a new manhole and pipe runs.
Our team enjoyed working on this project – it required full collaboration from several of our departments including design and technical with some of our project managers giving their advice and experience after working on a similar project at Selhurst Depot in the past.