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Project brief
In 2004, the go-ahead was given for a £177 million extension of the Docklands Light Railway (DLR).

The DLR-WAX tunnel will run from an intensely builtup area close to London's City Airport to Woolwich, in two curved tunnels requiring a total of 2425no x 5.3mø x 1.50m long rings.

Forward planning of the project identified the benefits of setting up on site, a purpose built casting facility for the production of tunnel lining and shaft segments.

Morgan Sindall awarded Buchan the contract for the design, manufacture and supply of all tunnel linings and shaft segments for the project.

Solution
Buchan developed the specification for the casting facility and its associated plant. Buchan also provided overall detailed planning to ensure the facility and storage areas would operate smoothly.

Buchan provided expertise through out the early stages of the project before designing and manufacturing all the close tolerance moulds in-house at its main facility in Staffordshire.

Casting the tunnel lining segments on site proved more than a convenience, as considerable savings to transport costs were made; the facility was also more convenient for quality inspections by the client and above all provided significant environmental benefits by reducing heavy vehicle journeys through London.
  'The UK'S most technically challenging tunnelling project since the Channel Tunnel Rail Link'

Working closely with Morgan Sindall, Buchan developed the factory specification required to deliver segments, this included:

  • Mould Expertise, Buchan designed and manufactured all the moulds in-house

  • Buchan reliability and experience - with over 40 years experience Buchan have a strong in-house design capability

  • Environmental benefits

  • Robust production techniques

  • One Stop Shop for Design, manufacture and supply of tunnel segment requirements

  • Early involvement enabled best solution to be developed.

  • The tunnel boring machine was purpose made by Lovat Inc. in Canada and shipped to site in three main pieces for assembly in the 'launch' chamber

  • At peak times 20no rings were built per day.
 
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