Among the myriad of enhancements, addressing slope instability stood as a crucial challenge. The upgrade scheme included the installation of a box feeder adjacent to an existing bund, spanning approximately 150 metres, which had a history of slope instability.

Forterra entrusted Anchor Systems (International) Ltd to tackle the slope instability and erosion issues. Collaborating with Key GS for slope stabilisation/ remediation design, a comprehensive solution was devised for the eastern slope of the bund. The recommendation from Key GS’s global stability analysis led to the installation of the AS-50 Vulcan Earth Anchor System at 1.5-metre centres across the slope face section, reaching a minimum depth of four metres. Anchors were installed at a 20° angle from the horizontal, achieving a minimum hold capacity of 35kN. Additionally, Greenax meshing was employed to prevent localised erosion.

Hartmann Construction took charge of the reprofiling works, ensuring the slope adhered to the specified parameters – a maximum height of 5.8 metres with a slope angle of 34° (1v:1.5h). Over a three-week period, a team of four operatives installed 330 AS-50 Vulcan Earth Anchors across the 150-metre by eleven-metre bund, adhering to the recommended 1.5-metre spacing and utilizing the pre-laid Greenax meshing. Testing confirmed the anchors’ 35kN hold capacity. The installation equipment included a 12T excavator with a breaker attachment, T38 x 5m drive rod kit, and handheld hydraulic loading equipment.

The deployment of the Vulcan Anchor System and Greenax meshing proved instrumental in stabilising the reprofiled bund, effectively mitigating further erosion or slope instability. This solution, in alignment with Key GS’s recommendations, not only achieved the desired outcome but also offered a cost-effective and efficient approach, perfectly aligning with Forterra’s
modernisation and sustainability goals. The project’s timely completion within budget underscores the successful collaboration between Forterra, Anchor Systems, Key GS, and Hartmann Construction.

This project exemplifies the synergy between innovative engineering solutions and collaborative partnerships in addressing complex infrastructure challenges, ultimately paving the way for sustainable modernisation in the railway sector.

Forterra’s commitment to modernisation goes hand in hand with their dedication to environmental sustainability. By opting for the Vulcan Anchor System and Greenax meshing, Forterra minimised the environmental footprint of the project. Traditional stabilisation methods often involve the use of wet trades such as grouts, which can have detrimental effects on the surrounding ecosystem and groundwater. In contrast, the non-invasive nature of the Vulcan Anchor System not only reduces disruption to the environment during installation but also ensures long term sustainability by avoiding potential contamination risks associated with cement-based solutions. This environmentally conscious approach aligns with Forterra’s broader sustainability objectives.

The success of the Wilnecote Brickworks Embankment Stabilisation project underscores the pivotal role of technological advancements in addressing infrastructure challenges. The utilisation of hydraulic equipment and precision-engineered anchor systems exemplifies the fusion of innovation and practicality in modern engineering solutions. Looking ahead, this project serves as a testament to the potential of advanced anchoring technologies in railway infrastructure projects worldwide. As the industry continues to evolve, embracing solutions like the Vulcan Anchor System paves the way for enhanced efficiency, cost effectiveness, and sustainability in future railway development initiatives.

Advantages of geotextiles and geosynthetics:

• Promotes vegetation growth for a sustainable result.
• Wet trades such as grout are not required with the system, providing a more environmentally friendly operation.
• Reduced labour and associated cost savings compared to hard armour installation.
• Reduces heavy traffic and installation plant necessary for hard armour/concrete processes.
• Aesthetically appealing and discreet, allows vegetation to take root providing a natural finish as opposed to unattractive traditional concrete methods.
• Recessed system
• Reduces groundwork and maximises use of space.
• Resilient and durable, our anchors are made from corrosion-resistant materials and work with the majority of geofabrics available.