Soham Station

A 100m long x 5m wide Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) Platform system designed, supplied and installed in just 4 months!? MegaTech Projects Ltd (MPL) working alongside James Murphy & Sons (JMS) achieved this at the new Soham Station in May 2021.

Following contract award in February 2021 MPL got straight into the nitty gritty of the design bearing in mind the incredibly tight programme. Soham provided an interesting challenge for MPL as the 5m wide platform, required to allow for a 2m wide fire escape route separated by firewall on top of the platform, fell tight to Network Rail’s (NR) boundary. The standard drainage detail of a gutter off the rear would not suffice as there would be no room for NR’s maintenance team to keep on top of the asset following the erection of the boundary fence. The solution to this was encasing the platforms drainage within the EPS system. The platform would be made up of 2nr EPS blocks adjacent to one another for the length of the platform, separated by a 1m gap which would contain the drainage pipe and supporting pea shingle. The platform surface water was then fed through the slabs into the drainage pipe through pre-cast notches in the pre-cast slabs and EPS blocks which connected into ACO drains and gathered the run off from the platforms surface.

The slabs at Soham deviated from our standard design. MPL were able to adapt to the client’s site specific requirement of a separate coper, tactile and surface finish. To help speed up the overall project installation programme MPL, instead of our standard finish, manufactured pre-cast plinths for all structures which would be fixed to the slab, firewall’s rear fences, end fences, help points and signage to name a few. MPL installed the small 600mm wide rear blocks at Soham in advance, non-possession working, to allow for the drainage to be connected ahead of the rest of the installation. Installation of the Front EPS blocks as well as the accompanying 70nr precast slabs began at 04:00 on the 22nd of May and the finished platform was installed by 05:00 on the 23rd.

Soham was a great example of effective coordination and cooperation of all involved to stick to the tight timescales on what is a very high profile project. It was also the first MPL platform to include a firewall. Speaking of Firewall’s…watch this space.

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