C+S July 2021 Vol. 7 Issue 7 (web)

systemwide contractor, Alstom TSO Costain Joint Venture (ATC Sys - temwide). The specification process, managed by Construction & Rail Contractors McNealy Brown, focused on the requirement for durable yet functional access solutions that would consistently provide a safe and direct step-through on to the walkway, without impacting sur- rounding electrical services. “When we first began researching potential access solutions for the Crossrail project’s central section, it became clear quite quickly that the BILCO LadderUp® Safety Post was the only product available on the UK market that would fulfill our extensive list of requirements,” said Clive Burfoot, Contract Manager at McNealy Brown. The safety posts are frequently used in commercial projects throughout the United States. The posts provide safer ladder access through roof hatches, floor access doors and manholes. A release lever allows the LadderUP® safety post to be lowered to its retracted position, and is available in four levels of corrosion resistance to provide years of dependable service. Transforming Travel There are a multitude of other ways to travel within London. Buses are popular, as are cars. More than 1.3 vehicle trips are made into the city each day. Bicycles are also widely used, and more than 24 million walking trips are made each day. Those options, however, are not particularly fast – or safe. A report in The Guardian said automobile speeds have declined across Britain in the past decade, particularly in urban areas. The same report said the average speed on some roads is 8 mph, and Transport for London reports the average bus speeds have been in consistent decline. The average speed of London buses is 9.27 mph. Safety is another issue. There were 125 people killed on London’s roads in 2019, a 12 percent increase from 2018. There are also issues with walking safety. An analysis reported that for every billion walking trips that occur in London, an average of 600 people are killed or injured. The congestion, danger, and pollution of the vehicles illustrate the importance of getting Crossrail fully functional as rapidly as possible. The city, and the nation, are anxiously awaiting the end of the construc- tion and full deployment of the new rail line. The project is now in a trial run, and the number of test trains in the new tunnels has increased from four to eight. Officials are testing sce - narios as close to operational conditions as possible. More testing will occur throughout the year. “This is an incredibly important milestone for Crossrail to reach and puts us firmly on the journey to unlocking Trial Running in 2021,” Wild said. “We are doing everything possible to deliver the Elizabeth Line as safely and as quickly as we can, and we know that Londoners are relying on the capacity and connectivity the Elizabeth Line will bring.”

stall. Slow progress on testing a signaling system also contributed to delays, while current Chief Executive Mark Wild said tunneling delays were to blame. There was no shortage of finger-pointing while anger festered, particularly within the business community along the line. The biggest challenge, however, had yet to emerge. That occurred in March 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic forced Transport for Lon - don to suspend construction work. In August, Crossrail Limited said the central section between Paddington and Abbey Wood would not be ready until the first half of 2022. “Delivery of Elizabeth Line is now in its complex final stages and is being completed at a time of great uncertainty due to the risk and potential impacts of further COVID outbreaks,” Crossrail Limited said . The delays also contributed to cost overruns. A report in August 2020 said the project could be more than €1.1 billion more than the agreed fi - nancing package, and €450 more than the estimates given in November 2019. It is expected to be more than €4 billion over its original budget. Safety Measures Worker safety has been one of the top priorities all along in the proj- ect. Martin Brown, Health and Safety Director of Crossrail, led the development of initiatives to help keep workers safe. There was a worker death about midway through the construction process. In 2019, five workers died in their sleep during a six-month span that might be related to dust and oxygen levels. While there have some concerns, officials have strived to maintain a safe working environment. “We wanted to understand why – particularly on large projects – there seems to be more of an accident problem at the start, which then falls and rises near the end of the project,” Brown said in Global Railway Review . “We discovered the importance of establishing the right safety culture early on and maintaining it through the later stages when the smaller trades come on board.” Project planners installed an assortment of safety measures to help pro- tect train crew members. One of the most widely used are LadderUp® Safety Posts from BILCO. Workers installed 350 of the BILCO posts to provide easier, safer access to maintenance walkways. They were specified by Crossrail’s A new rail line in London, Crossrail, will help ease a transit system and will carry 200 million passengers a year. The system is expected to become operational in 2021. Photo: Crossrail

THOMAS RENNER writes on building, construction, and other trade industry topics for publications throughout the United States.



july 2021

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