Glasgow Queen Street upgrade work sees light at end of tunnel with Diamond Drilling specialist

Monday, 15 August 2016

A Diamond Drilling specialist has completed key infrastructural work on Glasgow’s Queen Street Station tunnel upgrade, doing so on budget and ahead of schedule.

Broxburn-based Corecut was singled out by Story Contracting – which was awarded the track-slab replacement contract for the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme (EGIP) – to take the lead role in the removal of 10,000 tonnes of existing concrete slabs as the station’s tunnel underwent significant improvements.

The £60million high level tunnel upgrade is considered to be the most significant feat of engineering along the Edinburgh-Glasgow line in 170 years, and Corecut was confident of delivering results in a highly challenging rail environment.

Known for its work on large-scale Scottish construction projects across almost 40 years, Corecut was considered an ideal partner to undertake this highly complex work, including Diamond Drilling and Concrete Floor Sawing in challenging, time-critical tunnel conditions.

Moreover, at a contract value of £1.25million, it represented the largest Diamond Drilling project undertaken in Scotland to date.

Starting on 20 March, the company worked around the clock, seven days a week, to remove almost a kilometre-long concrete slab track, before concluding on 26 June – a whole six days ahead of schedule.

Corecut was involved in the planning of the project nearly two years prior to undertaking the actual works, including on and off-site trials. Once the tunnel upgrade had fully commenced, it then worked nearly 900 man days on site without a lost time incident.

The company approached the project in distinct phases: the first being pre-blockade works which included the Diamond Drilling of almost 8,500 112mm diameter x 500mm deep holes to allow the subsequent use of Hydraulic Bursting equipment to crack the slab, and 2,750 metres of Tracksaw Cutting to both the up line and down line to divorce the concrete slab track from the walls.

The second phase commenced on 11 April and saw main blockade works undertaken, including Longitudinal Sawcuts, Hydraulic Bursting - one of the safest and most efficient methods of removing reinforced or mass concrete, brickwork, or natural stone.

It also utilised remote-controlled Robolition demolition equipment to remove 10,000 tonnes of existing concrete, reducing it to manageable sections for removal by train.

Upon installation of the new concrete slab, Corecut drilled 3,500 holes to a depth of up to three metres, helping to anchor concrete to bedrock.

Ahead of the overall project’s anticipated 8 August opening, 40-year-old track continues to be replaced, power lines installed, and platforms expanded by a network of dedicated contractors.

Managing Director of Corecut, Finlay Crocker said: “The Queen Street tunnel represented a significant challenge for our team, which worked diligently on a 24/7 basis in difficult conditions across almost 100 days from late March to late June.

“With the difficult environment and tight deadline in mind, it is particularly pleasing to us that we were able to complete the work safely, within budget, and nearly a week ahead of schedule, which is testament to the quality and work ethic of those involved.

“We believe that, in doing so, we provided a major boost to the project’s immediate progress in the run-up to the 8 August opening.

“We hope that our contribution to Queen Street lays the foundations for wider success, both for those still engaged on the project, and for the station’s long-term future.

“Quality, precision, and continuous innovation are at the heart of every stage of our operation and represent fundamental parts of our culture as we look to deliver the best possible solutions.”

Location Scheme Project Manager, Eddie Esdale of Story Contracting said: “It was a fantastic effort throughout by everyone involved at Corecut.

“A very innovative solution was proposed and delivered, and without it, the project may not have progressed as smoothly as it did. A professional approach from all operatives on site ensured the safe delivery of the works ahead of programme.”

A full case study of the project can be viewed here:

Corecut’s recent work has placed it at the very heart of the UK’s transport infrastructure, allowing it to realise key improvements on high-profile jobs throughout the country.

Delivering everything from road and rail to tunnel and bridge projects, the company - which has a base in Sheffield - has helped to keep Britain moving with its recent involvement on the M1 Smart Motorway scheme, the A1 Leeming  to Barton improvement works, the M6 and M5 upgrades, and the A5-M1 Link.

In Scotland alone, it has worked on the £500million M8, M73 and M74 upgrade works - including the new Braehead Rail Bridge - the new £1.35bn Forth crossing, the £550million Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route, and the £35million A9 Dualling Programme.

In recent years, it has also worked on such landmark Scottish projects as Glasgow’s SSE Hydro and Emirates Arena, The Kelpies in Falkirk, and major upgrade work on the Forth Road Bridge.

For more information on Corecut, go to: 





Issued by Beattie on behalf of Corecut 


Notes to Editors

Based in Broxburn, West Lothian, Corecut is one of the UK’s principal suppliers of diamond drilling, sawing, controlled demolition and nuclear decommissioning services. We also specialise in passive fire protection, hydrodemolition and high/ultra-high pressure water jetting.

Corecut has over 35 years’ experience of providing professional contracting services to the UK and is constantly investing in new technology and equipment to provide the best possible service to its clients.

Headquartered in Broxburn, and with a branch in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Corecut’s highly qualified, mobile workforce provides a wide range of diamond drilling, concrete cuttingcontrolled demolition, nuclear decommissioning, fire protection and hydrodemolition services throughout the UK.

At Corecut, safety is of paramount importance and the job will be completed on-schedule and on-budget in the safest manner possible.


Corecut’s dedication to safety and staff training has been recognised by the CITB with their award of a Platinum Certificate for CSCS accreditation.