Ahead of the general freeze on rail work in advance of the Olympics, work continues on the ELLX2.
As part of the track laying process (and as with elsewhere on the ELL), a granite ballast bed was laid to a depth of approx 30cm on top of the compacted earthworks and a protective membrane. This is then evened out by heavy machinery.
A Fine Lining & Sleeper Spacing (FLASS) machine then follows. This takes 14 concrete sleepers and lays them onto the ballast.
The same machine then lays 18m length rail sections onto the newly laid sleepers. These are fastened to the sleepers manually, and the rails joined with steel plates.
This gives the track enough strength to support track-mounted machinery, allowing excavators and their accompanying wagons to follow up and place more ballast between the sleepers. A Tamper then follows, which aligns the track into its final position and vibrates the track to settle and stabalize it. Finally, the rails are welded together and the temporary steel plates removed.
Installation of the conductor rail and signalling will now be carried, and hopefully we’ll be able to post pictures of that at a later date.