Oakham Level Crossing

Level Crossing Services

Level crossing improvements and upgrades in Oakham case study
Client: Network Rail
Project: Oakham Level Crossing
Details: Level Crossing Replacement

As an approved installer of Strail, Premier Rail were tasked with removing the old Oakham level crossing and replacing it with a brand new Strail crossing. The new crossing means a smoother ride for vehicles and provided less of an eyesore for the picturesque village.

The project involved replacing four sleepers on the Oakham level crossing.
The specialist team at Premier Rail completed the tarmac and white lining works.

Over the years, Premier Rail has worked closely with Strail, making us the preferred crossing installer of Strail products on many large projects including Premium Strail, INNOStrail, Ponti-Strail, Pedi-Strail and Velo Strail.

Oakham is a picturesque town in the County of Rutland. Located centrally between the cities of Leicester, Nottingham and Peterborough it is one of the main thoroughfares that conjoins these cities. Historically all traffic that travelled from city to city would have had to use the level crossing but since the introduction of Oakham bypass this has reduced the traffic significantly. The level crossing does however still have heavy vehicular use by both local traffic and freight.

The history of the level crossing has not historically been kind with many grievances from local residents compounded by poor road / rail interface with potholes in the tarmac approaches and at the interface itself creating a poor driving experience. Indeed, the crossing even had its own Facebook page titled “we hate Oakham Level Crossing”.

The Remit to Premier Rail working in conjunction with Network Rail was to renew the crossing in its entirety including all Tarmac approaches and reintroducing all faded and missing road markings. This was required to be done in as short a time frame as possible with minimal disruption to the local population. Network Rail secured a 52-hour possession over one weekend for all works to be completed. The crossing was a political and public “hot potato” with a lot of second- and third-party interest and a lot of concern that the works were not achievable in the timeframe given

During the planning stage it was identified that there was also a requirement to perform rectification works to the rail components that would need to be factored in. The plan was to remove the existing deck in its entirety and then excavate the old beams. Once these works had been completed Premier Rail would then change various sleepers as required and realign the sleepers to allow the installation of the new Strail decking and complete the Track works by tamping the affected areas back to tolerance levels. Once these works were complete the relevant areas would be a excavated to allow the installation of the new Polysafe concrete beams and once all of this work was completed the new Strail crossing deck would be installed. Upon completion our preferred Tarmac contractors Martin Cowmans then renewed all approaches with hot roll Tarmac and then all road markings were reintroduced using Kestrel Thermoplastics.

The works went as successfully as was planned and anticipated and we were able to reopen the crossing to the public at 21:00 on the Sunday night approximately 9 hours in advance. This was due to our skilled and dedicated workforce maintaining a working presence on site from 19:00 on the Friday until 22:00 on the Sunday and also the collaborative working between all parties concerned namely, Premier Rail, Network Rail, Oakham Town Council, Rutland County Council and Martin Cowman Road surfacing.