Hooley Cutting on the London to Brighton mainline is hemmed in by houses on both sides. These two huge cuttings and tunnels form a vital link between London, Gatwick Airport and the south coast, but the place was also renowned for bad weather line closures.
December 2012 saw a plan to change all of this. The idea was to insert over 600 soil nails into the walls of the cutting and then install a high tensile net over them which would catch any slippages before they happened.
As the preferred on-track plant supplier, TRS worked very closely with the soil nailing contractor, BAM Ritchies, to develop an on-track machine that could make this happen whilst working on the rail head.
Together we developed the Giga long arm (piling). Taking existing long arm technology we worked with our OEM to produce a new arm that could incorporate an extra fitting point to allow the hydraulic ram to articulate. With the addition of strengthening plates inside the arm it could withstand any flexing caused by the torque motors of today’s railway.
The job ran for eight days over the Xmas / New Year of 2012/13 and was a complete success with the line being reopened to the public with no disruptions.