MegaTech Projects Ltd (MPL) were awarded the contract to install The Network Rail (NR) approved MegaTech EPS (Expanded Polystyrene) System to 2nr platform extensions, totalling 250 metres, at Sandwich Station on the Kent Coast Line. Working for BAM Nuttall and delivering for NR & South-eastern (SE) the design started in October 2019 and had to be complete for the British Open at Royal St George’s in June 2020. A challenge to design, supply and install the platforms, a walkway and a footbridge in 6 months. The installation took a total of 52 working hours within 3 weekend possessions of 27 hours.

MPL & BAM Nuttall faced several challenges at Sandwich in both design and construction but the most interesting challenge faced during this project was presented by the track drainage catch pit access chambers which ran up the length of each extension’s footprint. Normally MPL would fabricate an access chamber within the EPS and a manhole lid in the slabs to maintain access to services, however these chambers were half on the edge of the platform’s footprint and half off so the normal solution wouldn’t be an option. To tackle this challenge MPL designed a void over the catch pits with a larger slab that would span the gap. This allowed for the catch pits to remain undisturbed but still allowed maintenance access from the track.

Another challenge which presented itself at Sandwich came in the form of an unforeseen service run, which was not reflected in the survey details used to generate the fabrication drawings for the EPS blocks. In the final possession at Sandwich MPL realised that the final 20 metres of platform 1 required on site alterations to fit around this trough. Normally, if existing service runs are known, the blocks would be pre-notched. The solution was a quick fix for MPL, as it always is when unforeseen services are encountered, MPL simply hooked up our ‘cheesewire’ and notched the required dimensions out of the blocks to the engineers’ markings. In testament to the adaptability of the EPS system this ultimately had no effect on the programme, taking only 3 hours to notch the remaining 20 metres, as the installation was still completed by the end of the third possession as planned.

After the team burst a gut on the Project (including Network Rail, South Eastern, MPL, Tony Gee Partnership and MPL’s Designers Adams) the Covid 19 pandemic meant that the 149th Open at Royal St George’s was deferred until 2021. Still a tremendous achievement and a Project for everyone to be proud of.

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