Flitwick, Bedfordshire saw the first phase of Quick LOC Stage installations as part of the West Hampstead Life Extension Project for Network Rail. CSM Specialist Projects Ltd worked with Anchor Systems (International) Ltd to create the innovative GRP Stage and Anchor Screw system for Principal Contractor Linbrooke Services Ltd and Designer GGP Consult

A rapidly deployable, zero concrete and environmentally friendly ground anchoring solution and LOC Stage was required for the installation of location case staging platforms in Flitwick, Bedfordshire. This install was for Linbrooke Services’ West Hampstead Life Extension (WHLE) Project, which was implemented as part of Network Rail’s London North-Eastern & East Midlands Route Strategic Plan – to extend the life of lineside signalling assets between the Kentish Town and Bedford Interlocking areas.

The challenge was to create a full LOC Stage solution that can be rapidly deployed, without the need for RRVs, large equipment or concrete; the system had to allow for quick and simple installation during engineering hours, below OLE and in unpredictable winter weather conditions.

Using alternative methods, the installation of the LOC Staging would have taken weeks with the possibility of being delayed in the cold weather, due to the use of concrete and wet materials which
can expand in temperatures below 0ºC. Other methods would not only require multiple concrete foundations with subsequent drying and curing time but would furthermore necessitate the use of
numerous RRVs, ballast removal, waste management and OLE isolations.

The solution
Anchor Systems (International) Ltd have a growing portfolio of projects within the rail sector. Their zero concrete, portable hand-held installation anchor foundation systems were used to erect the Westbourne Park segregation barrier where over 300 Anchor Screws were installed, as well as the Hither Green Signalling Renewal project and Victoria rapid route cabling system, to name but a few. Given the previous successes with their products, Anchor Systems were approached to provide a solution for this Network Rail project.

Anchor Systems worked closely with CSM Projects, GGP and Linbrook Services to offer a bespoke geotechnical design and solution based upon local ground investigations and the needs of the client as well as environmental and cost directives.

The design was determined with extendable Anchor Screws and adjustable pile adapter interface plates. Working together with CSM Specialist Projects, Anchor Systems developed a bespoke and
innovative prefabricated GRP Staging that could be delivered to site already pre-assembled and then connected directly to the Pile Adapter interface plates on the Anchor Screws. The whole system, including all installation equipment, was delivered to the rail location using only track trollies.

The flexible design of the Pile Adapter and innovative LOC Stage meant that no legs/beams had to be cut or drilled on site as the plate can be adjusted vertically and allows slight rotation to ensure the staging is perfectly level.

A total of seven LOC Stage systems, with 28 Anchor Screw foundation systems (four per staging) were supplied by Anchor Systems (International) Ltd and CSM Specialist Projects for the first phase of installations.

The results
Despite the challenging location, freezing cold conditions and a generous dousing of snow, the hand-held installation of the Anchor Screws proved to be revolutionary. The efficiency of the system and team was demonstrated with the installation of all 28 Anchor Screws in just six night shifts. The seventh night saw the prefabricated GRP LOC Staging being delivered, assembled and installed. An estimated time saving of 60 per cent was made on the foundation system installation compared to traditional methods.

This system proved to be especially beneficial on this Network Rail project where the team were challenged with the task of installing on sloped railway embankments, with the presence of OLEs, facing imposed time constraints and all while taking a conscientious approach to reducing the carbon footprint. As well as eliminating the need of OLE isolation, zero on track plant or RRVs were required and no concrete or wet trades were used. In addition, this installation method is portable, lightweight and produces no hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS) during use. The torque head has a zero dB reading and the power pack measures 88dB at two metres, making this the ideal solution for night shift work and use in noise sensitive areas.

Although a full environmental report has not yet been concluded, based on previous projects we estimate that a 70 per cent embodied carbon reduction was achieved. This calculation is derived from man hour savings, elimination of plant requirements and reduced possession requirements.

Anchor Screw Quick-Stage – YouTube

Environmental benefits

Over and above the project benefits, the Anchor Screw foundation system offers further advantages to the network and local environment, including:

  • All materials being recyclable, easily removable, and reusable.
  • Made in the UK from 100 per cent recycled steel, with a minimum design life of 50 years.
  • Anchor Screw can be designed to offer 100+ year design life solution.
  • No wet trades used, curing times or excavation.
  • No requirement for RRVs.
  • Materials can all be transported by hand and with track trollies.
  • Portable and lightweight installation equipment.
  • Zero HAVS

Installation head offers low noise pollution output offering lower disturbance to residents. On average the Anchor Screw foundation offers a carbon reduction of over 70 per cent.

Example project reports with carbon calculated output can be seen at www.anchorsystems.co.uk









‘This system is great example of collaborative working. All the work & investment that went into this system demonstrates real commitment by the team for innovation and sustainability. The objectives were to reduce carbon footprint, remove concrete & water usage, remove the need for RRV’s and allow a very quick installation – all of which were met and more. Nothing else on the market comes close.’ – Clive Marriott: Managing Director at CSM Projects


‘As Civils Designers for many years, we are no stranger to the differing foundation types and solutions for lineside assets, but ease of construction in difficult locations without the requirement for on-track plant was a key driver in exploring the options available for the client. The Team at Anchor Systems were extremely cooperative and attentive in the early exchanges providing many examples demonstrating the capabilities and onsite flexibility of the Anchor Screw System and how these could be adopted and/or benefit the project. The client’s feedback was very positive, with the team installing 4No. piles within a Midweek ROR Possession at the very first attempt. We look forward to working closely again with Anchor Systems in the very near future.’ – Ricky Wamsley:
GGP Consult – Design Manager/ Civils CRE