RSS Infrastructure (RSSI), a subsidiary of Auctus Management Group Ltd, have been working alongside Colas Rail to help improve productivity and safety for their workforce at their site in Wembley North.

Members from the Track Access team conducted an initial survey to scope the entirety of the works required and found that currently the site only had one point of access as well as limited room for storage access and welfare facilities. Furthermore, the RSSI Arboriculture (Arb) teams identified that the site walking route was hazardous and inaccessible to personnel due to the uneven terrain that could cause tripping injuries.


The Arboriculture site survey identified that the project would consist of three key phases namely; removal of vegetation, stump removal and herbicide treatment.

The Arb team began by setting up an exclusion zone around the immediate work area and conducted a
thorough assessment of the area using a CAT scanner to identify any S&C cables.

In order for the RSSI Track Access team to lay the foundations for the foot path, Arb personnel needed to firstly remove approximately 1km of thick vegetation and trees that needed to be felled and removed to enable access. All arisings were also chipped and removed from site.

The next phase was to eradicate all tripping hazards caused by residual stumps and vegetation. The team used Stump Grinders to take each stump down to ground-level where there was sufficient safe access to do so. In areas that had limited clearance, Arb personnel were required to manually remove each stump. The final phase was to then treat the entire area with Herbicide to control regrowth.

Working alongside the client, Track Access division began by installing 450 metres of rubber zap mats in order to create a safe authorised walking route. The RSSI team then fitted a single pedestrian access gate at both the North and South hard standings.

In order to improve working conditions a welfare facility was constructed at each hard standing. These
welfare facilities gave Colas the capability to further enhance their own efficiency and safety through the creation of an observation tower that sat on top of the welfare building.

From the initial project survey, the RSSI Track Access planning team identified that there was another
potential hazard stemming from the electrified cables as well as workers straying from the authorised
walking route. To prevent the likelihood of any accident or incident occurring, RSS teams implemented 450 metres of ‘Plastic Thermos Barriers’ whose non-conductive material makes it ideal for areas that contain electrification and also acts as a barrier to keep personnel on the right track.

To increase both safety and productivity, four Strail Road Rail Access Points (RRAPS) were installed to improve access for rail road access vehicles. Three RRAPS were installed north of the worksite, enabling machinery to gain access to the works and crossover safely.

Benefit to the client

Through the introduction of welfare facilities Colas were able to improve their workforce productivity as they were no longer required to commute long distances. These facilities provided senior Colas personnel with an opportunity to increase visibility and improve safety and productivity through the additional observation tower that was constructed by the client.

Furthermore, through the efforts employed by the RSSI Arb team, who complete the vegetation and stump removal in two weeks, the RSSI Track Access team was able to install an authorised walking route, RRAPS, access gate and the Thermos barrier enabling the workforce at Wembley North to reduce deployment times for machinery and personnel through increased levels of safe access.

Jamie Gibbons, Site Manager for S&C South Alliance, said: “The de-vegetation works that the RSSI team undertook was to a very high standard, the site looks 100% better and everybody was really happy with the service the company provided.”

The project was delivered in accordance with the clients work schedule and also came in on budget.