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Photograph - 'Wet patch' on the up-line at Winchester Station in 2015

Design of Railway Drainage

Track and off-track drainage

Morton-Roberts has the ability to design new track and off-track drainage in accordance with NetworkRail's Drainage Systems Manual (NR/L2/CIV/005) and this includes the production of calculations to satisfy the applicable technical approvals. We are also able carry out assessments of existing railway drainage systems in accordance with the Manual together with the design of remedial work to address any deficiencies identified. This process includes assessments of the hydraulic capacity of existing railway drainage systems.

Track drainage - background

Track drainage controls the water within the Track Support System (that is the formation, ballast, capping layers, geosynthetics, etc, beneath the track itself). Track drainage is vital for the continued efficient operation of the line as a whole, for example, poor track drainage can lead to 'wet beds', see photograph. That is the failure of the track bed showing itself as the early failure of the ballast, resulting in additional maintenance and remedial costs together with an increased risk of broken rails.

Other drainage works can also help to reduce train delays and improve the efficiency of the maintenance of the civil engineering infrastructure along the line. For instance, work on culverts can reduce the number of flooding problems affecting train services while efficient crest drains, etc, can reduce the need for future remedial works to earthworks.

Drainage for lineside buildings, stations, etc

We can also design the drainage associated with new or refurbished lineside buildings, depots, stations and other railway related buildings such as offices, freight terminals, etc. This might include the surface water drainage for platforms, canopies, roofs and any associated paved areas together with the arrangements for the off-site disposal of the run-off, if required. The latter includes discharges to the ground, to watercourses or to public sewers as appropriate. We can also design any necessary foul drainage.

Further information

For further information please see

Drainage for New Developments

or culvert design and analysis

or alternatively please contact us.

Photograph: Track on the up-line at Winchester station, 2015.