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PERMANENT WAY SOLUTIONS


Keeping products on track B


uilt on a strong foundation of innovation, a commitment to sustainability, and a


flexible approach to working with customers, our company’s dedication to developing its expertise within the railway sector has seen the business establish itself as a leader in material and project solutions across the network.


Whilst the supply of ballast forms a large part of our rail offering, it is the wide range of primary and recycled aggregates, readymix concrete, coated aggregates and construction services solutions, that showcase our firm’s technical expertise and capability to develop bespoke products to order – not just for Network Rail, but for a number of other rail operators.


Within our four UK business units – (Cement, Readymix Concrete, Aggregates and Asphalt) we now have a workforce of over 3,000 across 219 sites nationwide.


When considered alongside our close working relationship with the rail operating companies, the current number of depots (either operated or owned by Lafarge), gives far greater local access to a wide range of rail-connected sites for the purpose of stockpiling and distributing material.


Transporting aggregates to where it is needed is one of the greatest challenges facing the quarrying industry. As issues such as traffic congestion, pollution and road noise become ever-more restrictive on the company’s


environmental values, Lafarge took the initiative to seek alternative ways to transport its products. Significantly, around 95% of new ballast that is supplied by Lafarge to the sector is itself transported by rail. As a result, we now have the most developed rail network in the industry and are able to transport more materials by non-road methods than any other UK operator.


Across this rail network, we also operate a unique ‘self discharging train’ (SDT), essentially a set of wagons that can be up to 40 in number. The SDT wagons are connected by link conveyors that can discharge any product hauled by rail adjacent to the track without the need for excavators or grab.


Customer service


On a renovation project on the line between Middlesbrough and Whitby, we were specified to provide standard Lafarge concrete and high-strength ChronoliaTM at six points along the North East line within five days. It was the flexibility of our Lafarge’s local Teesside Sector team that meant we were able to offer Bam Nuttall the additional support services they required when a bridge collapse and a conservation issue threatened to throw the construction schedule off-track.


With timings shifting on an almost hourly basis, we undertook continuous pours in some areas while operating standby at others in order to meet the customer’s ev er -changin g requirements. Although complicated logistically, the ability to remain adaptable allowed us to exceed client expectations by completing the job to schedule despite on- site delays.


Sustainability


While ChronoliaTM provided the ideal solution for Bam


58 | rail technology magazine Aug/Sep 12


John Bradshaw, Network Rail national key account manager at Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK, discusses how, in an ever-more competitive marketplace, Lafarge manages not only to stand out from the crowd, but remain able to fulfil even the most challenging project.


Nuttall because of its rapid setting time, which enables users to dramatically increase project turn-around, there is an increasing demand for sustainable products that meet the Government’s toughening environmental targets.


From a materials perspective, the use of recycled resources remains one of the best ways to ensure a project has robust sustainability credentials. Lafarge Aggregates & Concrete UK is currently spearheading the drive to create products with increasing levels of recycled elements.


Perhaps one of the most innovative products currently in the Lafarge portfolio is Aggneo Path. Developed by the Aggregates division at Lafarge, the product is made from a blend of recycled and waste materials. The mix offers a product with a performance close to or at least equivalent to primary aggregates, allowing for use in access projects where normally virgin aggregates would be the first choice. Rigorous quality controls at each step ensure Aggneo Path is of an exacting standard, helping clients achieve ever-more demanding environmental targets.


Aggneo Path also guarantees performance and consistency of supply offering the perfect solution for all kinds of access way but particularly in rural areas where the nature of the material is in keeping with the wider aesthetics of the landscape. This makes it perfect for pathways and associated facilities, compacting well to form a smooth, durable surface in sympathy with its surroundings.


Aggneo Path is a prime example of how Lafarge is using innovation to meet changing client demands, and the concept forms an integral part of the company’s dedication to promoting sustainable construction. It is this commitment to sector specific product delivery which will ensure we keep our competitive edge, while the progression of the UK’s railway network remains robust and environmentally sound.


FOR MORE INFORMATION


T: 0844 561 0037 E: john.bradshaw@uk.lafarge.com


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