A £5 million railway station has been constructed in Energlyn, Caerphilly in a bid to increase public transport use in the area.
The station, Energlyn and Churchill Park Station, will be fully operational by December this year.
The project has been funded by the Welsh Government together with the Welsh European Funding Office. Works began in April this year and the on site team are on track for the hand over back to Network Rail in November.
Colas Rail and Morgan Sindall PLC joint venture (CRMS JV) are delivering the works on the project after winning the Western and Wales Multi Asset Framework Agreement contractor role from Network Rail Infrastructure Projects. CRMSJV received the contract from Network Rail in November 2012.
The £750 million nationwide MAFA frameworks have been delivering a range of civils, track and signalling projects for Network Rail on the back of this agreement. The Colas Rail Morgan Sindall joint venture will deliver all works on the Western & Wales routes, an area between Paddington, the west of England and South Wales. This contract will run until April 2014.
Speaking to Premier Construction, Morgan Sindall PLC’s Tim Thorne, who is the Project Manager on site, said the feedback from local residents has been extremely positive. He added:
“A lot of people have told us they are looking forward to walking to the station or getting the bus, and jumping on the train rather than having to travel to the next station down the line in their cars.”
Upon completion the station will comprise of two platforms, a small car park hosting 17 spaces, waiting shelters, and an unmanned ticket vending machine on each platform. When work began on site in April there was an existing twin track railway line passing through the community. There are currently stations to the north and the south but none within walking distance of Energlyn; until now.
When construction was mobilised, in April, the team’s first task was to extend the embankment on one side of the railway tracks. This was necessary to achieve the extra width required for the platforms. The extension was realised by a process of sheet piling.
An access ramp was then erected to provide entry to both sides of the platform. Steel driven pile foundations were then installed for the platforms, which were installed in 7metre sections. The platform trestles were delivered to site part assembled which sped up the development considerably.
Tim said the decision taken at the beginning of the project, by CRMS JV and Network Rail, to minimise on site use of wet trades has been extremely beneficial. The team tried to keep fresh concrete and tarmac laying to a minimum in order to use site resources more efficiently and improve the finish achieved on site.
The team used REDI-ROCK; 1.5 tonne slabs of concrete with a blockwork appearance on the outer face instead of pouring concrete on site. The materials were sourced from CPM and were fabricated off site.
“The development has been a smooth process, relatively unhindered by weather conditions, which would not have been the case if we had been doing a lot of in-situ concrete.”
The team have worked closely with the local community in order minimise the impact of the development on local residents as there are houses within 30 metres of the station and a public footpath underneath.
Tim said the team were very conscious of the effect the development might have on the community. He added:
“We understood the need to get people enthused about the project and inform them of the benefits of the station. We have just had our Considerate Constructors Scheme Assessment and we scored 45 out of 50 which is an exceptional performance.
“We have also just entered the Caerphilly County Borough Council ‘Pride In Your Place’ awards. We have been meeting with the Council every two weeks on site and they have been very involved in the decision making process.
“We have been working with them to inform the local community about the development and worked hard to minimise noise levels and the duration of activities on site. All our work has been well received by the community so far.”
CRMS JV are applying for CEEQUAL assessment, a civil engineering and sustainability award system. The award celebrates high environmental and social performance in developments in various sectors. Industries such as civil engineering, infrastructure, landscaping and the public realm take part in the awards system.
CEEQUAL was launched in 2003, and more than 271 Awards have been achieved with a further 274 projects and contracts currently being assessed. Being a part of CEEQUAL has ensured the Energlyn and Churchill Park Station team have always searched for an sustainability-friendly answer to each issue that has arisen.
The construction team and the Network Rail team are extremely safety focused and as a result there have been no accidents to-date on site. The construction team have received two safety awards from Network Rail including a STAR-LITE and a STAR award. They are the only project in the country to have received both those awards during one project.
Tim Thorne expressed his satisfaction at the successful collaboration:
“CRMS JV and Network Rail have worked together very well to reach a successful outcome. The positive team spirit has been upheld by all of our subcontractors as well as the main construction team with everyone focused on delivering the best we possibly can.”