Home General Interest Longer platforms for four West Midlands stations

Longer platforms for four West Midlands stations

Four stations in the West Midlands will be receiving extended platforms in preparation for the introduction of new, longer Class 196 trains in 2021.

Dyer & Butler has been awarded a contract to deliver platform extensions, and associated works, at four railway stations on behalf of West Midland Trains. The design and build programme is already underway and will provide increased pedestrian capacity at Albrighton, Bilbrook, Hartlebury and Oakengates.

The programme of work will include the extension of both platforms at each station to accommodate the new four-car trains, as well as refurbishment of existing platforms to integrate with the new-build. Activities will include surveys, platform gauging, removal of existing ramps, enabling work, new installation, resurfacing, line marking, drainage, realignment of copers, installation of platform furniture and fencing, utilities containment, lighting and PA systems.

To extend the platforms, Dyer & Butler will be using the Network Rail-approved MegaTech EPS modular expanded polystyrene platform system blocks, which have a design lifespan of 100 years. Once on site, this system has been proven to be four times quicker than traditional build, with other benefits such as reduced risk to the workforce and sustainability due to reduced waste.

The work will be carried out during normal Rules of the Route (ROTR) short possessions at night, so will not disrupt train services, and is scheduled for completion in February 2021.

Dyer & Butler regional manager, Paul Fennessy, commented: “We are delighted to have secured this programme of platform upgrade and refurbishment activity. The investment in this increased capacity will provide increased space and comfort for passengers using these stations, whilst the use of the EPS blocks will ensure that on-site possession works and disruption for West Midland Trains’ passengers is kept to a minimum.”

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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