Vacuum Excavation Project: Railway Bridge Ballast Removal

When contractors were asked to complete a ballast removal job on an old redundant railway bridge, the access proved to be a big obstacle but they were determined to solve this challenging Vacuum Excavation project.

The old railway bridge has been unused for a long time which meant that it was no longer strong or stable enough to hold any heavy weight. The contractors needed to remove the ballast from the bridge, but it was unable to withstand the weight of any machines. Faced with a long, manual labour task of removing the debris by hand (estimated to take 15 days), the contractors decided to explore other solutions.

extension pipework assists vacuum excavator with ballast removal

Suction Powered Excavation

The contractors began to look for a solution that would provide a safer and quick alternative to manually removing the ballast, the contractors challenged the PIER (UK) to use their Vacuum Excavator without parking on the bridge.

By using the extendable arm situated on the back of the excavator, the operators were able to park the Vacuum Excavator on the road below the bridge and position the excavator’s boom up towards the bridge. 20 metres of flexible 10-inch extension pipework was then added to gain access to the ballast which allowed the machine’s suction power to quickly remove the debris in a safe and controlled manner.

Due to the extension pipework, the Vacuum Excavator was able to reduce the expected 15 day work and the PIER (UK) completed the job in 4 days, which heavily reducing the labour cost required for the project.

As the industry leaders in Vacuum Excavation, PIER (UK) will listen carefully to their customers’ requirements and provide a solution that is suitable for the Vacuum Excavation project.

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