Arboriculture and Track Access

Project Overview

RSS Infrastructure (RSSI), a subsidiary of Auctus Management Group Ltd, have been working alongside Colas Rail to help improve productivity and safety for their workforce at their site in Wembley North where the client was conducting Plain Line Renewals in addition to installing Switches and Crossovers (S&C).

RSSI Track Access team conducted an initial survey to scope the worksite and identify areas where they could improve safety, efficiency and productivity. The team found that currently the site only had one point of access as well as limited room for storage access and welfare facilities. Furthermore, the RSSI Arboriculture (Arb) teams also identified the site walking route was dangerous and inaccessible to personnel due to thick vegetation and existing tree stumps as well as the uneven terrain that could cause tripping hazards and would also hamper the works being conducted by the Track Access team.

The Solution

The Arboriculture site survey identified that the project would consist of three key phases namely; removal of vegetation, stump removal and herbicide treatment. Due to the work being more than 3 metres away from the nearest live line the teams were able to work during mid-week days under the supervision of a Safe Work Leader 1. The Arb team began by setting up an exclusion zone around the immediate work area and conducted a thorough assessment of the area using a CAT scanner to identify any S&C cables.

In order for the RSSI Track Access team to lay the foundations for the footpath, Arb personnel needed to firstly remove approximately 1km of thick vegetation and trees that needed to be felled and removed to enable access.

All personnel that were assigned to the project had a minimum of;

  • Level 2 Award in the safe use of brush cutters and trimmers
  • City and Guilds Level 2 principles of safe handling and application of pesticides
  • City and Guilds Level 2 Award in the safe application of pesticides using pedestrian handheld equipment
  • City and Guilds NPTC Level 2 award in felling and processing trees up to 380 millimetres
  • City and Guilds NPTC Level 2 Award in the safe use of stump grinders
  • City and Guilds NPTC Level 2 Award in the safe use of a manually fed wood chipper

To ensure that project was completed in the required timeframe RSSI Arboriculture & Vegetation Management deployed a team of 5 consisting of;

  • 3 x Arborists
  • 1 x Experienced Supervisor
  • 1 x Safe Work Leader

The next phase was to eradicate all tripping hazards caused by existing stumps and vegetation. The team used Stump Grinders to take each stump down to ground-level where there was sufficient safe access to do so. In areas that had limited clearance, Arb personnel were required to manually remove each stump. The final phase was to then treat the entire area with Herbicide to control regrowth.

Working alongside the client, Track Access division began by installing 450 metres of rubber zap mats in order to create a safe authorised walking route. The RSSI team then fitted a single pedestrian access gate at both the North and South hard standings.

In order to improve working conditions, a welfare facility was constructed at each hard standing. These welfare facilities gave Colas the capability to further enhance their own efficiency and safety through the creation of an observation tower that sat on top of the welfare building.

From the initial project survey, the RSSI Track Access planning team identified that there was another potential hazard stemming from the electrified cables as well as workers straying from the authorised walking route. To prevent the likelihood of an accident or incident occurring, RSS teams implemented 450 metres of ‘Plastic Thermos Barriers’ whose non-conductive material makes it ideal for areas that contain electrification and also acts as a barrier to keep personnel on the right track.

To increase both safety and productivity, four Strail Road Rail Access Points (RRAPS) were installed to improve access for rail road access vehicles. Three RRAPS were installed north of the worksite, enabling machinery to gain access to the works and crossover safely.

Working alongside the client, Track Access division began by installing 450 metres of rubber zap mats in order to create a safe authorised walking route. The RSSI team then fitted a single pedestrian access gate at both the North and South hard standings.

In order to improve working conditions, a welfare facility was constructed at each hard standing. These welfare facilities gave Colas the capability to further enhance their own efficiency and safety through the creation of an observation tower that sat on top of the welfare building.

From the initial project survey, the RSSI Track Access planning team identified that there was another potential hazard stemming from the electrified cables as well as workers straying from the authorised walking route. To prevent the likelihood of an accident or incident occurring, RSS teams implemented 450 metres of ‘Plastic Thermos Barriers’ whose non-conductive material makes it ideal for areas that contain electrification and also acts as a barrier to keep personnel on the right track.

To increase both safety and productivity, four Strail Road Rail Access Points (RRAPS) were installed to improve access for rail road access vehicles. Three RRAPS were installed north of the worksite, enabling machinery to gain access to the works and crossover safely.

The Benefits to the Client

Through the introduction of welfare facilities, Colas were able to improve their workforce productivity as they were no longer required to commute long distances. These facilities provided senior Colas personnel with an opportunity to increase visibility and improve safety and productivity through the additional observation tower that was constructed by the client.

Furthermore, through the efforts employed by the RSSI Arb team, who complete the vegetation and stump removal in two weeks, the RSSI Track Access team was able to install an authorised walking route, RRAPS, access gate and the Thermos barrier enabling the workforce at Wembley North to reduce deployment times for machinery and personnel through increased levels of safe access.

Jamie Gibbons, Site Manager for S&C South Alliance, said: “The de-vegetation works that the RSSI team undertook were to a very high standard, the site looks 100% better and everybody was really happy with the service the company provided.”

The project was delivered in accordance with the clients’ work schedule and also came in on budget.

Meet the Expert

Graham Talbot - Head of Arboriculture

Meet the expert

“RSSI personnel who worked to recover the IBJ’s were faultless and brilliant guys to work with, they are a credit to the S&T division at RSSI.”

Brian Watterson – Signalling Supervisor Phase 5 at S&C North Alliance

“RSSI personnel who were involved with the works at Northam had to work through some of the worst weather conditions I have seen and continued to keep spirits high and had a fantastic work attitude allowing for the project to continue.”

Chris Courtenay – Signalling Supervisor (Infrastructure) for Colas Rail

“I would like to thank RSS for their work so far on the blockade at Northam, they have been great.”

Andrew Woolliss – Project Engineer (Wessex) S&C – Infrastructure

“Thanks to RSSI we are on top of all movements every day with nothing outstanding. ”

Ryan Steel – Field Engineer (OLE England) at Amey

“RSSI assisted in the cable running shifts, preparation work including changeovers of the 8 x track circuits and the 10c, 27c and 4 x 48c lineside cables. Their quality of work, attitude and work ethic has been absolutely spot on. ”

Dan Palmer – Installation and Construction Engineer at Carillion Signalling

“Being able to work during the day with trains still running is fantastic for team fatigue. The use of an ATWS installed for the duration makes the job even safer and removes the need for Lookouts. Thanks to the guys from RSSI for installing and managing for us.”

Robert Woods – Senior Project Manager at Amey

“The RSSI personnel who worked on the Bilston Road Track Renewal project have been exceptional and played a major part in ensuring the works were completed on time and to budget.”

Paul Brown – Project Director for Midland Metro Alliance

“The RSSI Arboriculture Team did a great job in completing the job safely and efficiently as planned. The feedback from my site supervisor was very good, he said that all exclusion zone were enforced and adhered to and appropriate PPE was used for the task. ”

Ameer Ibrahim – Senior Project Manager for Colas

“The De-Veg works that the Arboriculture team undertook was to a very high standard, the site looks 100% better and everybody my end is really happy with the service you provided. ”

Jamie Gibbons – Site Manager for S&C Alliance

“I have had a good walk along the fence line and I am very happy with the work carried out. All the over hanging trees and Limbs have been removed. Very good work. ”

Mike Gibson – Terminal Manager for Associated British Ports

Infrastructure Solutions

  • Overhead Line Electrification
  • Track Warning Services
  • Welding
  • Signalling Services
  • Resource & Recruitment
  • Recruitment
  • Construction & Civils
  • Magnetic Track Safety Solutions
  • Track Access & Lighting
  • Vegetation Management
View Solutions

Selected News

RSS Infrastructure Support World Mental Health Day 2021

Why mental health awareness is important   In today’s article, we’re going to look at how you can improve mental health in the workplace. Firstly, can mental ill health affect your work? The answer is a simple yes. Your mental health affects your behaviour; it affects how you interact with people and do your job…

Read More

Moyna Bateman Case Study

What were you doing before you started working at RSS Infrastructure? “I worked in various job roles before joining the rail sector, ranging from owning my own property maintenance company for around 10 years, to working in hospitality”. Have you ever worked in the rail/civils sectors before working at RSS Infrastructure? “I had never considered..

Read More

RSS Infrastructure

RSS Infrastructure are focused on increasing productivity and improving safety across the UK’s infrastructure. By working with you, as your trusted partner, we will provide a range of tailored infrastructure services and safety products you can count on.

Contact

Subscribe

Apply Online

    X