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Crossrail to benefit from Lafarge rail restoration

Transportation of waste from tunnelling at Crossrail’s Royal Oak portal will benefit from restoration of a rail freight line by Lafarge Cement in north Kent.

Balfour Beatty Rail is carrying out design and build work on the new 2.25km link which will reconnect rail freight facilities at Lafarge’s former cement works at Northfleet to the main north Kent line. The new line will enable Crossrail waste to be transferred from the rail network and onto river transport for final disposal at Wallasea Island in Essex.

The work is being carried out as part of the overall regeneration of the Northfleet site and is expected to be completed in February next year ahead of the start of Crossrail’s tunnelling at Paddington. Crossrail has committed to transferring 85% of materials by rail or barge to avoid adding to traffic congestion in London during the construction work.

Speaking at a British Tunnelling Society meeting at the ICE last week, Crossrail programme director Andy Mitchell said that transportation of waste by rail was a key part of the logistics plan for the project. “All the London Clay excavated by the tunnel boring machines will be transferred from site by rail and then taken by boat to Wallasea where it will be used to build a new wildlife reserve,” he said. “Construction of the jetty at Wallasea will start as soon as the bird breeding season has ended.”

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