Record-breaking underground box jack in Werrington to be connected to railway - International Burch University
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July 13, 2021
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Record-breaking underground box jack in Werrington to be connected to railway

Network Rail engineers are preparing to connect the ground-breaking 11,000t tunnel in Werrington to the existing railway later this month.

The project at Werrington will allow slower moving freight trains to dive underneath the East Coast Main Line.

It is part of the £1.2bn East Coast Upgrade, which has also seen major work completed to transform the track layout and reopen a tunnel at King’s Cross, making it easier for more trains to enter and exit the station.

In January, engineers “pushed” the world’s longest single underground jacked structure into place at Werrington, in a UK first for engineering.

Morgan Sindall led on the job with work on site taking 18 months including piling and construction of the 155m-long concrete box.


Since then work has taken place to install around 4km of track inside the new tunnel, as well as signalling equipment, without disrupting train services.

On Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, engineers will connect the new track to the existing Stamford lines.

Network Rail East Coast Upgrade principal programme sponsor Ed Akers said: “We used challenging industry leading techniques to push the tunnel into place and our teams have continued to work around the clock to install the new track without impacting on services.

“This work to connect the tunnel to the existing lines is only possible when there are no trains running on this section of the route. We’ve carefully planned the work and have bus replacements in place to keep passengers moving. We want to thank people for their patience whilst this vital stage of the project is carried out.”

Work on the dive-under is expected to be completed over the summer, ready for train services to use it later this year.


Department of Civil Engineering