Whiteball Tunnel - CAT3 Check Phase 2B Refurbishment

Network Rail
J Murphy & Sons
£15 million GBP
March 2019 — April 2019
Services performed
Independent design check (CAT 3) of phase 2B refurbishment of the Whiteball tunnel that comprises SCL lining protecting the existing brick lining.
1km rail tunnel named after the nearby village of White Ball built by Brunel (opened 1844 on the Great Western Main Line). Victorian brick-arch lining, which has deteriorated over the years including weathering and chemical reaction from the sulphurous steam trains. A refurbishment scheme was required to make it fit for purpose which was planned through various phases. The early phases of the project involved installation of the RAM Arch System and wire mesh to prevent loose bricks from falling on to the tracks. In latter phases of the refurb - the subject of the CAT3 check - sprayed concrete was applied to cover the RAM Arch system coupled with rock bolts with butterfly plates were used to hold the concrete lining.
The ground was not exposed in this refurbishment effort.
Somerset, UK


  • refurbishment of 170 year old brick lined tunnel
  • USe of the Ram Arch for initial support
  • Multi-phased refurbishment plan comprising sprayed concrete and rock bolt with butterfly plates

Whiteball Tunnel Refurbishment Plan

Whiteball Tunnel Refurbishment