On the right track: drilling underneath the high-speed railway, Belgium

This summer, Brownline surveyed two drills in the Belgian province of Henegouwen. These drills were for a new natural gas pipeline, of which the trajectory crosses the high-speed railway.

The local gas company has started an ambitious restructuring and renovation process for the current natural gas distribution network in this region. Part of this process is the construction of a new, low-pressure natural gas pipeline of 11,5 kilometers long. This pipeline will replace the existing line and will guarantee safe delivery of natural gas to consumers for the future.

Drilling underneath railway tracks always ensures a challenging job. Asides from the railway tracks causing a severe level of interference, there are also the soil conditions and the time pressure that play a huge part in successfully executing the drill job. While drilling, the soil’s pressure must be monitored constantly in order to avoid subsidence or sink holes that cause serious issues for the train traffic timetable. This meant that the drills had to be executed in a very tight period. After 23:00 local time, the railway was free of traffic and the job could be done safely.

The newly placed pipeline is made of steel, which means that there is zero room for deviation. With this and all other restrictions in mind, choosing the Drillguide Gyro Steering Tool was as easy as putting two and two together. With the Drillguide GST, the drills were executed in a safe, successful and time efficient manner.

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