Bardon Quarry Level Crossing Upgrade

Bardon Quarry Level Crossing Upgrade


Aggregate Industries was developing the existing quarry at Bardon, Leicestershire. When complete, this will be the largest quarry in the United Kingdom.


The quarry is served by rail via a single track level crossing over the A511 near Coalville. Rail movements included the propelling of full length trains into the quarry. The existing highway consisted of 2 lanes with the public protected only by flashing red lights during passage of trains i.e. there was no physical barrier sealing off the railway corridor. In conjunction with the development of the new quarry, the highway was to be widened to 3 lanes to offer dedicated right hand turns into the quarry to minimise disruption to through traffic. Whilst the level crossing was privately owned i.e. it was not on the main rail network, the crossing was classified as a public level crossing and hence came under the jurisdiction of the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). As part of the works, the ORR required the level crossing to be upgraded to current standards.

SYSTRA was invited to design all aspects of the work relating to the crossing infrastructure, including the signalling element. SYSTRA’s in-house level crossing design team, in close consultation with both the Client and the ORR to ensure buy in, produced a design for the crossing which was ultimately commissioned in July 2019.

This included a full option selection process, initial design of the level crossing (including signalling and civils assets) which was swiftly followed by Approved For Construction designs.

Whilst the conventional Network Rail design process was utilised as it is a proven concept, it was streamlined to ensure the Client received a quick, lean yet safe design package. The SYSTRA Level Crossings team built on their already excellent working relationship with the ORR, as it was clear from an early stage that it was imperative that the ORR, as a key stakeholder, was kept informed of the proposed design and operation of the new level crossing. This was level crossing design from first principles.

As well as the Level Crossings team, SYSTRA’s Civils, Track, E&P, Geotechnical, Site Services, Project Management and Project Engineering Teams were also awarded works within the Scheme. Signalling was sub-contracted to a third party.

Despite extremely critical timescales, SYSTRA delivered the Level Crossing Ground Plan, and all the associated deliverables from other SYSTRA disciplines, to meet the Client’s expectations and the level crossing was commissioned on schedule.

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