Global Rail Construction Limited have recently completed a package of work for Network Rail that included the design, supply and installation of several large galvanized steel signal structures.
It includes a 5-track gantry signal structure, a large 2-track cantilever structure and several smaller galvanized steel lightweight gantry and cantilever structures. Global Rail Construction used the project to demonstrate significant cost and programme efficiencies with the inclusion of new strategies for end of life scenarios.
An important aspect of the new strategy centred around the use of galvanized helical steel foundations as they delivered many advantages over traditional steel and concrete piled foundations. One of the many advantages of galvanized helical piles and their associated galvanized steel support grillages were that at the end of the installations life, the system could be easily removed, reused or recycled.
Current end-of-life scenarios for two of the most common construction materials, steel and concrete, show that 93% of steel is recycled and 6% is reused – a growing natural resource as opposed to concrete which is 20% recycled and 75% downcycled.
The decision was made not to use concrete foundations unless there was an engineering argument against the use of removable, reusable and recyclable galvanized steel grillage and helical piling.