Home Electrification Video: Farnworth Tunnel

Video: Farnworth Tunnel

Work is being driven forward on the reboring of Farnworth Up Tunnel, on the commuter route between Manchester and Bolton, which is being enlarged to accommodate two tracks and overhead line equipment as part of the North West Electrification Programme.

Despite carrying out extensive ground investigations, the project team was faced with considerable challenges early in the excavation when the tunnel was twice inundated by running sands but, following difficult remedial works, progress since has been uninterrupted.

Key to the reboring is an open-face shield – a machine built in modular form by an engineering firm in Oldham and then assembled on site. It includes two telescopic cutting booms which are used to excavate material from the upper and lower halves of the working face; behind them is a hydraulic system to install the concrete lining.

Once the tunnelling is complete, the machine will be dismantled and its launch pit filled before track laying gets underway. Based on current rates of progress, it’s hoped the railway will be restored to full operation by the end of the year.

Graeme Bickerdike
Graeme Bickerdikehttp://www.railengineer.co.uk

SPECIALIST AREAS
Tunnels and bridges, historic structures and construction techniques, railway safety


Graeme Bickerdike's association with the railway industry goes back to the mid-nineties when he was contracted to produce safety awareness videos and printed materials aimed at the on-track community. This led to him heading a stream of work to improve the way safety rules are communicated and understood - ultimately simplifying them - for which he received the IRSE’s Wing Award for Safety in 2007.

In 2005, Graeme launched a website to catalogue and celebrate some of the more notable disused railway structures which still grace Britain’s landscape. Several hundred have since had their history researched and a photographic record captured. A particular focus has been the construction methods adopted by Victorian engineers and contractors; as a result, the site has become a useful resource for those with asset management responsibilities.

Graeme has been writing for Rail Engineer for the past ten years, generally looking at civil engineering projects and associated issues. He has a deep appreciation of the difficulties involved in building tunnels and viaducts through the 19th Century, a trait which is often reflected in his stories.

1 COMMENT

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Must Read

Technical Seminars at Railtex – Keynote Speeches Revised

The Technical Seminar programme, arranged and hosted by Rail Engineer, gives Railtex exhibitors the opportunity to talk about their latest developments to an enquiring and...

Evolution not revolution

Metal wheels on metal rails have, for almost 200 years, provided energy-efficient transport due to their low rolling resistance and effective load bearing.

UNIFE releases vision paper on Digital Trends in the Rail Sector

UNIFE, the Association of the European Rail Industry, has released a new vision paper on digitalisation that aims to bring the European rail supply...

First TransPennine Express Nova 3 train handed over

The first of TransPennine Express’s (TPE) new fleet of Nova 3 trains, which will initially come into service in the coming months between Liverpool...

New London Overground Class 710/2 train obtains conditional approval to run

Bombardier’s new Class 710/2 ‘Aventra’ train, destined for London Overground’s Gospel Oak to Barking and Watford lines, has received its first limited...