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Basal Reinforcement

SEATON - DEVON - United Kingdom

Seaton Tramway

Kimber Contracting Ltd

BSW Consulting Engineers



Seaton is a large town near the seaside in Devon. It is a  tourist attraction with beautiful views and is home to a   tramway, the Seaton Tramway. The Seaton Tramway is a 2   ft 9 in (838 mm) narrow gauge electric tramway which   operates over part of the route of a former London & South   Western Railway branch line to Seaton, Devon. The tram   route boasts 3 miles of unspoilt countryside through the Axe   Valley. 

Seaton has seen a successful regeneration project over the   years including the addition of a large Tesco, Premier Inn   and over 200 Bovis homes. The regeneration project also   included a brand-new, state-of-the-art Tramway station   which opened in June 2018. 

Being one of the first new stations to be built on a heritage   site in years, the project has seen some very complex   railway engineering which had not been seen since 1970.   Along with the new station came a new café and gift shop   named after the Tramways founder, Claude Lane. The station is 2m above ground and the site is very tight for   space. With these constraints in mind, Maccaferri was   chosen to supply solutions to create the reinforcement   tramway embankment.  


The site is situated above an area of soft soil that required  substantial ground improvement.The new platform area   adjacent to the new terminus building was subject to CMCs   column treatment and retaining structures along the   extremities of the low-height embankments (up to 2.5m).

The trams have a total weight of 160 kN over the track   width. Overhead electricity cables to power the trams   required supporting structures. The loading from tram and   support structures was modelled in this design as a variable   surcharge load of 30kPa over the entire embankment crest.   Maccaferri proposed to use Paralink high-strength geogrid as   a basal reinforcement solution to limit the differential   settlement across the embankment and Terramesh System   to form the required walls. 

The design analysis demonstrates that a single layer of   Paralink 1200, installed at right angles to the centre line of   the embankment is sufficient to improve the stability of the   embankment. Macgrid EG L biaxial extruded geogrids were   also used as ballast reinforcement to give further support.