Rail Electrification of the Chase Line

  • Project Rail Electrification of the Chase Line
  • Principal Contractor ABC Electrification
  • Key Benefit MGF’s GRiPSHORE range provided a safe means of access for the works to proceed under the track
Image of a moving train on a train track

“The kit [GRiPSHORE] is simple to set up and use, requiring a short training session which MGF provided as part of the whole package. Network Rail’s onsite engineer was equally impressed with the system, given its speed and ease of use.”

Justin Lewis, Contractor Responsible Engineer (Track), ABC Electrification


As part of the extensive line electrification works between Rugeley and Walsall, an Under Track Crossing (UTX) was constructed at Bescot to accommodate a duct route for cables between cess catchpits at either side of the 2 lines of track. The scheme involved erecting over head wires on 51km of track along with the reconstruction of six bridges. Network Rail’s £100m investment into electrifying and upgrading the line between Rugeley and Walsall will provide a faster and more frequent service, reducing journey times between

Staffordshire and the West Midlands, using electric trains that are quieter, faster and more environmentally friendly. The scheme, once complete, is expected to create around 1,600 new jobs and generate an estimated £110m through economic benefits.

After initially presenting to ABC Electrification’s senior Engineering team in Rugby, providing an overview of potential options: MGF’s GRiPSHORE® Vertishore range was identified as the perfect solution for the trench works and a scheme worked up on this basis.

Animation of MGF GRiPSHORE being installed

Designed to be used in small trenches for the safe installation of utilities in excavations up to 2m deep, Vertishore is electrically non-conductive, lightweight and can be assembled rapidly by hand in restricted excavations.

The Solution

This versatile shoring solution is designed for use in shallow trenches, for safe installation in excavations up to 2.0m deep and 2.0m wide. It is lightweight, can be both easily transported and handled and efficiently installed. Manufactured to BS EN 13706 MGF’s GRP product range is electrically none conductive and fire retardant to ASTM E84 Class 1.

Following an extensive review of the ground investigation report, it was identified that there was made ground and ballast over sandy siltstone with no potential water table issues. MGF’s design team agreed that the ground would be suitable for the use of a Vertishore solution, so a design was prepared and agreed based on the soil arching theory, utilising a non-continuous solution of GRiPSHORE Vertishore with backing boards, sited at 1.5m centres along the trench.

MGF provided a safe means of access for the works to proceed under the track. Despite the remote site location, the team were able to transport the lightweight shoring kit to the site 2.0 miles from the access point via rail mounted bogies. The speed of the installation was critical so a lightweight, easily installed solution was key and GRiPSHORE was ideal for the job. On-site familiarisation for the operatives was also provided by MGF senior Rail specialists.

For the 1.55m wide trench, MGF supplied 1.6m Vertishore coupled with backing boards and 3500mm square Manhole Boxes for the catchpits. The kit was provided alongside a full package of design information including engineered drawings, design risk assessments and Network Rail F002 and F003 documents.

“I’d recommend Vertishore for future trench support requirements and MGF for their willingness to assist us in ensuring our works were completed safely and on time. The team were particularly impressed that the units use water as hydraulic fluid, removing the need for specialist environmental controls”

Justin Lewis, Contractor Responsible Engineer (Track), ABC Electrification

The Verdict

MGF’s capability to service the rail sector not only covers Network Rail managed improvement projects like the rail electrification of the chase line but also major civil engineering infrastructure schemes by providing excavation safety solutions to various disciplines including: earthworks / drainage / services, structures / bridges,

station upgrades / platforms / access, electrification, signalling, power upgrades, track-laying and UTX installations.

Our dedicated rail team offer their assistance and expertise along with our rail sector technical sales and design engineers that are available in supporting customers with their specific requirements.