Products used: STEPOC
South WalesMain contractor:
STEPOC helps keep station developments ‘On-Track’ with quick and easy system installation. STEPOC, the precast concrete block retaining wall system from Ibstock, has been specified and installed to provide a fast and efficient walling solution on two railway station upgrades being undertaken in South Wales.
“Instead of using traditional blockwork for the rear retaining walls, we decided to try something different. The STEPOC system was relatively easy to use and, from an installer point of view, provided a quick and simple solution, as we did not have to rely on block layers. If you can’t get hold of bricklayers this is definitely a ‘go-to’ product.”
This system makes it possible to build almost anywhere, enabling plots previously deemed too difficult to develop a viable proposition as it requires no mortar, no drying time and no waiting.
Main contractor AmcoGiffen - working alongside Network Rail – has been undertaking construction work at Newbridge and Llanhilleth, which includes the provision of an additional platform at each station, with the rear retaining walls being created using the STEPOC system.
The work is part of a multi-million pound investment into railway services on the (WVL) Ebbw Vale line – the project is funded by Blaenau Gwent Council and delivered through Network Rail. When the work is completed, it will enable the provision of an extra hourly train service to be added to the line serving the local communities.
AmcoGiffen Project Manager Matthew Richards has been overseeing the Llanhilleth Station development said: “The back retaining walls on both the additional new platforms at Newbridge and Llanhilleth are four courses high, with acombined total of 150 linear metres of the STEPOC product having been used. Once the base and starter bars are installed, the system is very quick and easy to erect.
"As part of the Llanhilleth scheme, a new footbridge and lifts have been installed to provide step-free access under the Access for All scheme."
Lee Jones, AmcoGiffen Project Manager on the Newbridge construction work, commented: “Instead of using traditional blockwork for the rear retaining walls, we decided to try something different. The STEPOC system was relatively easy to use and, from an installer point of view, provided a quick and simple solution, as we did not have to rely on block layers. If you can’t get hold of bricklayers this is definitely a ‘go-to’ product.
"The work at Newbridge included an extension to the existing platform and the replacement of the Bridge Street road over rail bridge with a new precast concrete/steel one."
Ibstock’s Dan Blythe, Infrastructure Business Partner, commented: “The STEPOC system is a great alternative to shuttered and poured concrete which facilitates the fast construction of single skin walls up to 4 metres high.
"Available in three widths of 200, 256 and 325mm it weighs less than 20kg per unit. The popularity of the product has grown immensely in recent years being used on a wide variety of projects from basement walls and swimming pools to flood defences and blast panels, through to lift shafts and platform edges.”