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Propping helps improve pedestrian access for Northumberland Line scheme

Northumberland Line, Palmersville

As part of a £34 million investment by the Department for Transport (DfT) into re-introducing passenger services between Newcastle and Ashington, a number of upgrades are being made to the Northumberland Line. To assist with these works, main contractor Morgan Sindall Infrastructure required a range of our propping solutions to facilitate the safe and efficient installation of a new underpass. 


Part of a £34 million investment by the Department for Transport into re-introducing passenger services between Newcastle and Ashington
Propping required to facilitate safe and efficinet installation of a new underpass

Products used on this project

The challenge

As part of the Northumberland Line project, six new stations are being constructed, as well as major upgrades to the existing tracks, signalling and infrastructure. These upgrade works include the addition of a new pedestrian underpass, in place of a level crossing at the Palmersville dairy crossing to allow pedestrians to safely cross the track.

Adam Payne, Site Agent at Morgan Sindall Infrastructure, said: “To facilitate the construction of an underpass in this location, we used a pre-cast concrete structure, which was transported across to site by Self-Propelled Modular Transporter (SPMT) and then assembled upon arrival. 

“The requirement for temporary works came when we had to consider the logistics of getting the pre-cast units onto the SPMT, with temporary supports needed to secure the structures during the lifting stages, ensuring they weren’t damaged. It was here that we approached Mabey Hire for its help."

Our solution

"Mabey Hire developed us a temporary works scheme that enabled us to lift the pre-cast units in three sections, using its Mass 25 and Mass 50 propping solutions to prop the sides of the structures, allowing us to safely and securely lift each one on and off the SPMT.

 “Mabey Hire had completed similar schemes on other areas of the Northumberland Line Project, so we knew they had the right knowledge and experience to complete this specific job.”

Thanks to this prior experience, the project went smoothly, with Adam saying: “We only faced one late design change, after we reassessed a connection detail between the propping and found a potential risk in relation to shear and tension forces being applied in the jacking and SPMT carry stages. We added some additional anchors prior to lifting to counter this issue.

“Mabey Hire’s team were very efficient in assisting with these design changes and the implementation of them, all of which made our lives that bit easier.” 

The overall Northumberland Line upgrades are scheduled to complete in Summer 2024, with this stage of the works completed in June 2023. 

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