Home Contract News Dyer & Butler to undertake railway tunnel strengthening work under Museum of...

Dyer & Butler to undertake railway tunnel strengthening work under Museum of London site

The City of London Corporation has appointed multi-disciplined engineering services specialist Dyer & Butler, part of M Group Services, to deliver strengthening works to the Snowhill tunnel (rail) lids that run directly under Smithfield Market. The work is being undertaken alongside the £337 million development of the new Museum of London site at West Smithfield.

Photo credit: Ivor the driver

The Museum of London opened in 1976 at its current London Wall site and tells the ever-changing story of London and its people, from 450,000 BC to the present day. Its galleries, exhibitions, displays and activities seek to inspire a passion for London and provide a sense of the vibrancy that makes the city such a unique place.  It has a collection of over seven million objects and the largest archaeological archive in the world, all of which strive to connect people with the lived experience of London.

In need of more space, the museum will soon be moving to West Smithfield, a conservation area in central London, where it will take over the currently derelict market buildings at the western end of Smithfield.

At its new site, the museum will have the capacity to welcome over two million visitors a year. It has been designed by London-based architectural practices Stanton Williams and Asif Khan working with Julian Harrap, a firm which specialises in the redevelopment of historic buildings.

Under its new contract, Dyer & Butler will deliver the programme of works that will include:

  • Extensive temporary works to support the market building whilst the foundations are transferred to the new tunnel lids
  • Reduction of the depth of structure to form the new museum structural deck
  • Removal of overburden upon the existing tunnel lid jack arches
  • PCC structures
  • Dismantling of historic façade
  • Installation of strengthening steelwork and steelwork design in the tunnel vaults as enabling works for Network Rail’s installation of new Road Rail Access Points (RRAP)
  • Highways improvements
  • Waterproofing

Using its own in-house capabilities, (own labour, in-house design management, training and possession planning, etc.) Dyer & Butler’s specialist rail division delivers essential rail infrastructure services under framework and stand-alone contracts, from maintenance through to major capital projects.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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