EWR – East West Rail Alliance



Ground investigation work was undertaken west of Milton Keynes along 22Km of live and mothballed railway, public footpaths, existing stations, and road bridges. Works were undertaken over days, nights, weekend day and weekend nightshifts, often across multiple work fronts. For particularly sensitive sites and where significant constraints were identified pre-works, site walkovers to assess land access, agree access routes and to assess the requirement for lay down areas, track matting and welfare, buried services, etc were carried out.

Over the course of the project our H&S and rail teams worked closely with the Alliance to look at ways of minimising manual handling risks when accessing difficult and often remote locations from the public highway. Mandating the use of smaller track mats, incorporating hand grips, rather than the traditional 8’x4’ sized mats, lightened each mat by 17kgs making them easier to handle, lay and transport. We also substituted the use of conventional halogen lighting and generators for lightweight, low noise, LED lighting saving fuel, energy, noise, and manual handling risks.

With conventional hand pushed track trolleys banned by the EWR Alliance’s H&S team, we had to develop a safe and cost effective alternative to RRVs to transport our small track mounted dynamic sampling rigs up the line (often travelling distances of over a kilometre from the access).  We employed a Gator solution and hand portable RRAPs to safeguard our crews from falls from height during the loading/unloading process and to reduce fatigue during the shift.

Our project delivery team and the QHSE manager have maintained a proactive away from site too, presenting at several supply-chain H&S forums and other event promoting site investigation through our series of Site Investigation-101 talks.

Brief description of works

The total package comprised:

  • 600 boreholes using multi-purpose drilling rigs, dynamic sampling and ballast sampling rigs.
  • Specialist testing including GPR Surveys,  Ground level seismic surveys, pressuremeter testing and downhole geophysical testing
  • Boreholes installed with groundwater monitoring wells and long term monitoring.
  • 200 machine excavated trial pits.
  • 100 TRL-DCP probes
  • Activities were coordinated using a small team of drilling contract managers and experienced rail staff to ensure the expectations of our stakeholders could be met.
  • Onsite engineering supervision.
  • Logging of boreholes and pits to BS5930:2015.
  • Factual reporting and AGS data

EWR project delivery team (incl. CCGI senior managers, supervising engineers, drillers and their assistants) on a collaborative working session:



Check out here for more information: CCGI CS003 EWR

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