The £30m phase one section of the dawlish sea wall improvements are set to protect the railway for the next 100 years.
The project involves raising the wall from its historical height of 5m to 7.5m, widening the walkway from 3.1m to 4m, and fitting a barrier between the pedestrians and the edge of the wall, the key feature of the design however is the profiled precast wave defectors which prevent stormy conditions from damaging the railway.
After a successful history working on unique bespoke projects with engineers at Bam Nuttall’s they were keen to bring us onboard to brainstorm solutions for a particular transport challenge.
The challenge was the transfer of precast concrete wall sections from one side of the railway to the other via a very low underpass.
With the precast sections being a particular size and weight, we had to think outside the box in order to make sure our solution would be low enough to gain clearance under the railway. But also, not compromise on the strength and weight capacities of the trailer, this coupled with the sloped entrance and 90 degree turn to exit, meant we had to get quite detailed with 3d models and concept sketches to help prove our design prior to manufacture.
The low bridge also forced us to explore vehicle options leading us to lower a JCB tele handler to make the perfect low-level transport combination.
For the safety aspects we added many features one of which was the use of our commercial axles and an air braking system. Working closely with Robert Coles and JCB we managed to secure one of the first Tele handlers off the production line with a trailer auxiliary for air brakes. A much safer package, ticking all of the boxes and overcoming the challenge.