As part of the first full-scale upgrade of the metro system since the renovations between 1977 and 1980, Malcolm Hughes was asked to get involved underground.

Railway surveying is of vital importance when it comes to the maintenance and construction of our railway systems, both underground and overground, but as a result of an increase in traffic and consequently pressure to expand, capacity has significantly raised the profile of the railway regeneration. Now more than ever before, surveyors working on these railways require a solid background of expertise, experience and efficiency – and at Malcolm Hughes, we have all three of these key ingredients.

After a gap of a year, during which time contractors undertook improvement works within the subway tunnels, 2017 saw Malcolm Hughes complete their work in installing the new datum plate system throughout the Glasgow Subway for Strathclyde Passenger Transport. This now provides a reference system for maintenance work, allowing contractors to easily pinpoint their exact location within the network.

The £500,000 project provided some new challenges for us, not least taking on the role of Principal Contractor and fulfilling a requirement to design and manufacture 4,000 bespoke datum plates, including electronic RFID devices, for installation on the tunnel walls. Working permanently on night shifts for the duration of the contract, our team carried out a full survey of the track, using equipment that we adapted for use on the narrow gauge rails, and then set out and installed a datum plate at 5-metre intervals on the tunnel walls throughout both tunnels, each about 10 kilometres in length.

To find out more about this project or to kick-start your own railway survey, get in touch with the team at Malcolm Hughes today.