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Great Western Mainline Slope Stabilisation


BAM won a major rail embankment scheme in Wiltshire on the main Great Western Railiway, east to west line to London, which included heavy earthworks as part of a stabilisation package along an 800m section. These were early enabling works as part of the electrification scheme where the adjacent bridge would have to be raised and a large crane platform constructed.

Scope of Works

Access was challenging with the slope length over 35 metres at the longest section so WM Plant Hire worked with BAM Nuttall in considering options for the earthworks. BAM required assistance creating vertical drainage together with re-profiling of the slope which had to be carried out whilst keeping the line open.


Using specialist long reach equipment the largest machine that could gain access had a reach of 24 metres and was used in conjunction with a walking excavator that could work directly on the steep slopes.  On the narrower sections an 8 tonne machine with 9 metre reach was used at the toe of the slope, fitted with a slew restrictor, and worked with a 22 metre reach machine to profile the slopes.  PTS qualified operators and a diverse range of specialist excavators proved the ideal solution for BAM Nuttall, who subsequently completed the bridge replacement scheme.

Additional Info

  • Client: BAM Nuttall
  • Duration: 16 weeks
  • Location: Brinkworth, Wiltshire
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