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Datum Remote Monitoring Solution For Liverpool Rail Upgrade

December 5, 2017

Datum Group engineers created an emergency response remote monitoring solution as part of the £140 million Liverpool rail upgrade.

Our team designed a bespoke remote monitoring system to ensure trains at one of the UK’s busiest stations remained safe during building works.

Engineers at Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd working on the remodeling of one of the world’s oldest mainline stations, were concerned a retaining wall had been weakened by years of water damage.

The wall, positioned above the main line that serves more than 15 million commuters every year, had seen mortar washed out which weakened the wall, raising stability concerns.

Engineers feared it could collapse onto the main line without immediate remedial works – but were hampered by restricted access and general concerns over the condition of the cutting wall, especially as there was a partial collapse of a section of this wall in February 2017 due to issues caused by a lineside neighbour.

Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd turned to geotechnical monitoring leaders Datum for advice and within 24 hours our team had created a remote monitoring system which allowed Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd engineers to take steps to make the wall safe.

Retaining Wall

A Datum spokesman, said: “The retaining wall was above the main line in and out Liverpool Lime Station and it had suffered a large amount of water damage over its lifetime, with mortar being completely being worn away in some locations.

“The wall had been reviewed by designers on the construction work and there was concern about a potential risk to trains traveling beneath.

“We attended the scene and provided an immediate structural assessment and created a monitoring solution which was agreed with Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd and Network Rail and was installed the same day.

“Datum engineers installed four wireless TiltMates to provide immediate and continuous monitoring of the condition of the wall and an alarm system designed to send notifications if movement exceeded trigger levels.

“Our monitoring solution enabled Buckingham Group Contracting Ltd engineers to begin remedial works to make the wall safe and continue with the main redevelopment.”

Datum has developed a variety of remote monitoring solutions for the railway network and geotechnical structures.

Remote Monitoring

The TiltMate is a highly precise wireless infrastructure movement monitoring system. It is used throughout the transport and construction sectors and allows for long-term monitoring of any structure.

It incorporates a specially designed mounting beam and anchor system which is deployed quickly and effectively onto any surface to provide solid and permanent contact.

TiltMates are robust and designed to last in service for many years. The monitoring sensors stream data continuously to Datum’s innovative software suite Datum Monitoring.

The Datum Monitoring software suite interprets data and presents it in a user-friendly format. It sends custom alerts when alarm levels are reached to users via SMS, email or via telephone call – or a mixture of all three methods.

A spokesman for Buckingham said: “As part of the remodeling works we have REB compounds to build at street level, and this REB site at Pembroke Street is built on a redundant bridge that crosses the railway cutting.

“The wing wall in question was partially covered with debris and we needed to create apertures through the wall for new vertical cable risers, to get cables from track level into the REB.

“The wall was in such poor condition that we immediately turned to Datum Group to install monitoring equipment for us, based on long-term working relationships we have built with Datum.

“Within 24hrs we had monitoring in place and temporary works in place to ensure the safe passage of trains, and we are designing plans to take down and rebuild the wall. Our sincere thanks to Datum for their swift response and professional staff”.

The work at Liverpool Lime Street is part of a £340 million investment in the Liverpool area. Two new platforms will be created between the existing platforms seven and eight, with other platforms being lengthened and widened.

Upgrades to track, signaling and platform upgrades will enable longer trains and more frequent services, as well as the launch of new services to Glasgow.

Network Rail has committed around £230 million whilst the Liverpool City Region will add a further £110 million, through the Government’s Growth Deal funding.

Martin Frobisher, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Our aim over the next three years is to give the people of Liverpool the high-quality rail services they deserve. With demand for rail travel expected to rise by 100% over the coming years, these improvements are vital for the future growth and prosperity of this great city region.”

* To learn more about Datum and our monitoring services contact the team at

Liverpool City Region Upgrade