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AdaptX technology key to challenging railway pipeline project

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A week to finish a challenging tunnelling project may seem like an impossible task for some. But for Edge Underground, this proved that there is nothing too daunting for the microtunnelling company.

Edge Underground was contracted for the project, which involved a 750 mm bore under an existing live railway line for 50 m. And on top of it all, the stakes were high.

Failure to complete the job before the Easter break could have had significant repercussions for the overall project by impacting the pipelaying crews.

The Edge Underground team was called in at late notice as the previous contractor was not progressing as anticipated. The company agreed to assist and took on the tight timelines.

Due to further project constraints, the initial mobilisation was delayed applying more pressure to an already tight program.

The project required the team to bore through 240 megapascals (MPa) of rock, a particularly difficult material to work with, and with the project’s tight deadlines and high stakes involved, there was no room for error.

Despite the pressure and unexpected challenges on-site, including other subcontractors encroaching on its time, Edge Underground rose to the occasion.

As part of OptionX Group, Edge Underground has access to Bournedrill and its workshop, and has recently implemented new drill rods primarily designed for the AdaptX machine.

These rods, which could also fit the existing AXIS machines owned by Edge Underground, made the machines three to four times more capable than the original drill rods.

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The Edge Underground team has extensive experience working around live rail tracks.

Founder of Edge Underground and CEO of OptionX Group, Stuart Harrison says a project of this nature wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago.

“This was the sort of job that in the past, we would have allowed much more time for problems to come up,” Harrison says.

“But we had no time. The program was so tight that any problem would have meant we didn’t make the deadline.”

Harrison credits the success of this project to the modifications made to the AXIS machine, which included heavy-duty drill rods, geared reaming technology, and new rock reaming technology.

These modifications were originally developed and patented for OptionX Group’s AdaptX machine but were adapted to the existing AXIS machines with great success. The successful completion of this project is a testament to Edge Underground’s focus on operational efficiency and investment in advanced technology.

The innovations enabled the team to bore under a live railway line with tight deadlines and difficult material, while avoiding any disruption to the train schedule. The project has opened up new opportunities for Edge Underground, as it continues to take on difficult jobs.

With the support of OptionX Group and its ongoing investment in new technologies, Edge Underground is ready to expand its capabilities and tackle whatever challenges come its way.

In the drilling, tunnelling, and boring industry, meeting tight deadlines is a significant challenge, often due to overcrowded programming, lack of support from suppliers, supply chain issues, and staffing problems.

However, Edge Underground has established measures to mitigate these issues and ensure its projects are completed within the given timeframe.

Its recent success in the challenging railway pipeline project is a testament to its expertise and commitment to delivering exceptional results for its clients.

For more information visit www.optionxgroup.com.au.

This article featured in the June edition of Trenchless Australasia. 

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