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Network Rail and Pipe Jacking Association presentation on undertrack crossings and associated risk management

5th April 2018

Network Rail, in association with the Pipe Jacking Association (PJA), recently presented a nationwide seminar on the planning, design and construction of undertrack crossings and associated risk management.

The presentation started with an overview of Network Rail’s new UTX standard and the background on the derailment at Stoke Lane Level crossing. This was presented by Colin Sims, Professional Head of Mining and Tunnels, Network Rail and Graeme Monteith, PJA Chairman and Barhale Tunnel Engineering Manager.

The presentation focused on the capacity to identify safety risks posed by undertrack crossings and presenting suitable controls to protect the railway. It touched on the background surrounding the derailment at Stoke Lane Crossing in Nottingham to demonstrate the need to consider lessons learnt within the development of the revised NR standard NR/L2/CIV/044.This was followed by an overview of safety risks inherent in pipe jacking, health and safety legislation and risk management, occupational health, and atmospheric monitoring and contamination.

Luigi Rocco, senior engineer at Network Rail said that the PJA’s involvement in developing and raising awareness of the revised  standard represented a first rate example of how collaboration between a strategic infrastructure operator and industry leaders can promote improved working practices and enhance safety management.

Commenting on the seminar, Graeme Monteith, Chairman of the Pipe Jacking Association and Tunnel Engineering Manager at Barhale noted: “Following historic issues with pipe jacking under rail tracks, this event provided the opportunity to update Network Rail’s asset managers, consulting engineers, and the underground industry on safe working practices as outlined in the new undertrack crossing standard. As a preferred method for many crossings, pipe jacking can continue to be employed with confidence where essential utilities need to be installed under rail tracks”.

Network Rail standard NR/LR/CIV/044 outlines the need to understand, assess and manage risk through the implementation of robust control measures. This provides a safe means for the control of the railway risks associated with the construction of pipes, culverts and tunnels.

Jim Kirby, PJA vice-chairman and technical director COWI, who worked with Network Rail in the development of the standard, commented: “There are a number of key changes that are included in the revision of the standard such as clarity of roles and responsibilities and design life.

Key engineering factors within the standard include the relationship with existing infrastructure, depth of cover, ground movement, design checking and technical assurance, along with track and works monitoring”.

The risk management and health and safety aspects of the seminar were presented by Dr Donald Lamont, principal of Hyperbaric and Tunnel Safety and formerly head of tunnel and ground engineering for the Health and Safety Executive.

Copies of the seminar content can be downloaded from the presentation section of the PJA website here

Further Information:
Andrew Marshall
Pipe Jacking Association
Mobile: 07785 297111