Bristol Patchway (TPOD)

Duration: 6 Weeks

Client: Network Rail / Babcock Rail 

Duration: 18th July – 1st September 2015  

Location: Brunel’s Box Tunnel, Wiltshire

Project Overview:

Opened in 1841, Brunel’s Tunnel, near Bath, is one of the UK’s most celebrated structures. In preparation for electrification works, Network Rail invested £50m on its Great Western Electrification Programmes to cut journey times between London Paddington and Swansea.

TXM Solution:

Patchway was a 6-week high profile track renewal/lowering project through 2 single bore tunnels at split levels. TXM partnered with Babcock Rail and Network Rail to supply a total of 33 machines in the form of RRV’s and Construction plant, working 24/7 to complete these works.

Works ran through 2 old single line tunnels, therefore the methodology to complete the project was extremely unconventional. Careful planning was critical in ensuring absolute safety to enable execution. Tracks were removed, excavated and new drains installed from one end of the tunnel, and the new formation and track installation were from the opposite end.

Whilst work was on-going the tunnel also had to be pinned to prevent damage of possible collapse of the old structure, and alternate methods for the drainage were undertaken to minimise the vibration through the tunnel.


As well as the complex task of lowering 1.5km of track, more than 10,000 new sleepers were laid, and 160,000 tonnes of rubble was removed from the track around the tunnel.

The progress of works was slow due to the unconventional methods used however, all components were completed with great feedback from the client.

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