SE Route Ditch and Culvert Clearance

Client Name
Network Rail

Project Name
SE Route Ditch and Culvert Clearance

Railway Drainage


18 months

Kent and Sussex

Please contact : 01707 927 400

email :

SE Route Ditch and Culvert Clearance

Pro Rail Services Ltd. is a Railway civil engineering contractor who execute maintenance contracts on Network Rail infrastructure. This project took place on Network Rail’s South East Route of the network.

Pro Rail Services Ltd. was commissioned to carry out three large packages of work to extensively improve trackside drainage ditches and rail culverts at multiple locations across its operational region.

There were varying challenges at each site. A key issue was access, as many drainage assets are located adjacent to farmland. Extensive liaison was needed with landowners. There were three categories of work:
1. Clearance of railway drainage ditches
2. Cleaning and surveying of railway culverts
3. Cleaning and surveying of track drainage

The programme involved many locations highlighted by the Office of Rail Regulation (ORR) as having embankment and flooding issues.

All the sites were surveyed before work was carried out. Detailed project safety, environmental and logistical plans were drawn up for each package. Work was scheduled with the agreement of Network Rail Works Delivery South East Route.

Teams of specialist de-vegetation and access contractors with the right qualifications, skills and experience were put together. This included arborists, excavation crews, plant operators and drainage survey operatives.

SSOWP risk assessments and work package plans and task briefs were prepared for all projects, and all three projects were F10 notifiable.

Work began in mid-August 2016 and is scheduled to finish at the end of 2017.
All sites have been visited and scoped. All work to-date has been carried out with a mix of daytime working and possessions with progress monitored through weekly meetings with Network Rail.
Clearance of railway drainage ditches
• Resources deployed have been a fiveperson de-vegetation team, supported by excavator and dumper crews, plus an array of safety critical resources.
Cleaning and surveying of railway culverts
• Culverts and track drainage lines are identified and their locations recorded.
• Where necessary, de-vegetation takes place.
• Culverts are dewatered through overpumping.
• Cleaning is carried out using water jetting.
• Asset condition surveys are carried out.
• Resources deployed include 10 operatives per site, a jet vac tanker, water tanker, offroad tracked Porta Reel, a CCTV camera survey team, and a 6-inch water pump.

• Vegetation and trees removed along 7,650 metres of trackside drainage ditch. Where necessary, ditches have been reprofiled.
• 38 under-track culverts have been cleaned and surveyed. In some cases, recommendations have been made to line the culverts or rebuild headwalls.
• Approximately 13,500m of track drainage completed across two routes (KJE2/3 – 7,500m, VTB3 – 6,000m) was maintained. Where necessary, recommendations have been made to carry out repairs to resolve a range of problems, including pipe cracking and collapses.

Please contact : 01707 226 501

email :