News - Construction News

Winvic Appointed to DIRTF III Freight Terminal

Winvic Construction Ltd has secured a £29 million contract to deliver a new state-of-the-art intermodal Rail Freight Terminal at RFI DRIFT in Northamptonshire.

The scheme is to form part of Prologis’ extension to its UK premier logistics park, DRIFT III, it comprises of significant earthworks, 79,000m2 concrete terminal slab, 9km rail track networked to existing terminal and the West Coast Mainline, and three complex bridges.

Once competed in Summer 2021, the terminal will be capable of receiving up to 24 775m-long trains every day and the concrete yard will provide space for the storage of approx. 460 containers. The Winvic design team and its consultants have designed the terminal slab to withstand the weight of containers stacked four high and loaded to 21 tonnes each.

Winvic will be construction the five-track, 800m-long siding and installing a Rail Traverser. This specialist equipment – which moves trains perpendicularly from one track to the next – is rarely used on UK railways, but it will allow the terminal length to be shorter as a head shunt isn’t required.

Winvic started on the site at the beginning of June 2020, and last week completed the earthwork re-engineering of the plateaus, which although has been created around four years ago, had suffered from weather degradation. The bulk earthworks programme has comprised of approx. 60,000m2 of cut and fill works and 40,000m2 of sub-base and has been positioned in preparation for the pouring of concrete slabs, commencing on 17 August 2020.

Extensive liaison has already taken place with Highways England (HE) and the Environment Agency (EA), and Winvic will continue to engage throughout the project due to the installation of a bridging structure over the Clifton Brook Tributary and an integral bridge spanning the A5, 2km north of M1 J18. The new railway link bridge, which will carry two tracks, will have an effective span of 30m over the highway.

The two train lines will also traverse the Clifton Brook Tributary and the bridging structure solution has been designed with EA input to give wildlife unimpeded access to sensitive ecological areas. It will be a 45m-long precast arch, using the Matiere System, with 34 bored piles, each 25m long, and precast wing walls.

The third bridge that Winvic will be constructing within the DIRFT III Rail Freight Terminal project diverts the existing bridleway up and over the new railway lines. With a clear bridge span of over 18m and a deck 5.5m in width, it is a fully integral single span composite prestressed and reinforced concrete (RC) structure. The deck is to be composed of prestressed concrete beams with an in-situ reinforced concrete deck slab that is integrally connected with abutments seated on spread foundations.

In addition, Winvic will be delivering a number of other scheme elements:

  • 1600m of embedded rail
  • Rail Terminal Building
  • Gatehouse
  • 5km of rail troughing and ducting
  • 21000m3 of ballast
  • Over 10km fencing and barriers
  • 2,500m of drainage
  • 20 mast lights

Winvic’s Civils and Infrastructure Director, Rob Cook, commented: “We are thrilled that Prologis recognised our experience in the construction of rail freight terminals as well as our commitment to positive and productive liaison with key stakeholders like HE and the EA. Not only is the plot between the M1 and A5 vast – totalling 344 hectares – but many elements of the scheme are complex and require specialist knowledge; from the diversion of and care for the local tributary and its wildlife to constructing adjacent to a live and busy highway. The bulk earthworks have now been completed and we are very much looking forward to starting the terminal slab construction next month.

“Winvic has been delivering civils and infrastructure projects for as long as it has been operational, but many works packages have been part of turnkey solutions, enabling industrial, commercial and multi-room developments. With my recent appointment and the strengthening of Winvic’s standalone C&I track record, now is the time for us to be more vocal about the company being a premiere main contractor in the sector, and this exciting contract win certainly illuminates our robust position in the competitive C&I arena.”

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