It’s a national pastime to moan about the weather in Britain and the worst of it causes persistent problems for our vulnerable road and rail infrastructure – heavy rainfall, storm surges, coastal inundation and, cruellest of all, flooding.
Much of our rail network consists of cuttings or tunnels below the surrounding ground level, or in flat, low-lying areas where there is very limited natural drainage, making them prone to flooding.
There’s a whole host of obvious difficulties that this can lead to. If water enters signalling equipment and point machines it can cause them to fail. Speed restrictions may have to be enforced if flood waters rise too high. Live conductor rails have the potential to short-circuit and supporting ballast beneath railway sleepers can be swept away by surging flood water.
Land-slippage is also a common occurrence in many areas caused by the extra weight of heavily soaked soil. This leads to delays caused by the re-routing of services and, worst case scenario, a possible derailment.
Plastic piling is a material that is starting to be used successfully to protect against the effects of landslips and flooding, benefiting both road users and the rail networks. Leading the way in this is Derbyshire-based PVCu extrusion company Liniar.
Its piling and retaining systems include a range of products suitable for use in a wide variety of applications. As well as being used for ballast retaining and to protect against bank erosion, they are also purpose designed for use in trench shoring and to provide long term flood protection.
Liniar Log Pile
Liniar’s innovative display at the 2014 InfraRail exhibition caused quite a stir, with the firm’s lead-free, UK-manufactured and eco-friendly track-side refuge also put on permanent display at the Rail Live site in Long Marston.
Its plastic log effect piling system, a real alternative to concrete or timber, sparked a deluge of enquiries once its lightweight properties were proven.
The tubular log piling is designed as a retaining structure. Made from 100% recycled material, it’s perfect for use in situations where traditional piling options are not practical and equally suitable in natural habitats.
Liniar’s log pile is ideal for bank retention when a more aesthetic finish is required. It can also be used by the Rail Network to construct track side worker refuges and as an effective alternative to concrete surrounds to protect signalling location cases and boxes from land slippages.
Liniar’s Fencing and Enclosure Systems
Designed and manufactured in the UK, Liniar’s fence and post and gravel board system is made from 88% recycled uPVC and provides a lightweight, safe and user-friendly alternative to concrete or timber fencing for the UK road and rail network infrastructure.
No more mechanical handling, Liniar posts and gravel boards are around 10% of the weight of concrete and can be lifted easily, delivering Health and Safety benefits for track-side workers as well as speeding up installation time.
Despite its lightweight design, the Liniar uPVC system is strong and offers an extremely low maintenance option.
Benefits of Liniar uPVC fencing:
- Won’t rot, rust, crack or crumble
- Is eco-friendly, made from recycled plastic
- Durable and long lasting
- Completely weatherproof
- Can be installed quickly and easily
- Simple to carry to areas with limited vehicle access