A 30-inch wide water pipe spanning four rail lines has been wrapped in protective netting to prevent any potential disruption to rail services.
Network Rail alerted Thames Water to a crack in the pipe’s concrete surround above the main line between Honor Oak Park and Brockley stations, south London.
A 24-hour watch was brought into effect immediately while working out the best solution to the problem, and to agree sufficient track time in order to do the work. Access to the pipe from ground level was provided by eight rail-mounted cherry pickers and the job finished within a week.
Thames Water spokesman Stuart White said: “This was a really sharp piece of work, getting in quick to resolve the issue straightaway. We could not run the risk of any concrete falling onto the track, and the tightly wrapped netting has now made it safe until a more permanent solution is designed and agreed.”
Andy Derbyshire, chief operating officer for Network Rail’s south east route, added: “The last thing either party wants is for a problem like this to cause disruption on a busy commuter line, so as soon as we spotted a potential issue with the pipe, we alerted Thames Water.
“It’s great that we’ve worked together to get a quick fix in place and we’ll continue to help them carry out their work once a plan is in place for a permanent solution."