Lewisham track renewals

UK: Concrete sleeper manufacturer Cemex adapted its production process to provide Network Rail with a bearers of a ‘never-seen-before’ design for a ‘challenging’ track replacement project at Lewisham.

‘Production of bearers of this size had never been done before’, said Terence Clair, S&C Business Manager for Cemex UK Rail Solutions. ’Replacing the existing timber bearers with our resilient and hard-wearing concrete products will ensure longevity for many years to come.’

More than 600 individual crossing bearers with lengths ranging from 2·5 to 10·3 m were needed for the renewal of the junction in southeast London. The complexity of the design meant split bearers were not suitable, and so there was a requirement for single bearers of a considerably longer length than is usually manufactured.

A specialist concrete mix was used and the production plant at Somercotes in Derbyshire reconfigured.

The project also required split modular bearers with both full size and reduced shear plates, as well as third rail positions on specific bearers, under bearer pads throughout the layout and strap rail positions.

In total Cemex provided 2 185 linear metres of concrete for the project, accompanying 700 m of rail, 6 000 tonnes of ballast and 1 000 m of conductor rail from Network Rail’s supply chain.

Planning took two years, with Cemex working closely with Network Rail and switch & crossing manufacturer Progress Rail Services UK. Installation then took place over a nine-day period.