The Harbour they Come

Work is continuing on a technically-challenging project involving almost £2m worth of scaffolding over tidal waters is strengthening one of the network’s most iconic stations.

Portsmouth Harbour Station sits on a pier, supported above tidal waters by a 19-span viaduct, with four platforms and four tracks.

A comprehensive scaffolding structure has been erected over the water to provide safe access to the underside of the 250m long station, via a disused track.

Martin Parsons, Project Manager, Osborne, said one of the most challenging aspects is working shift patterns around tidal flows:

“As the tide comes in, much of the equipment has to be dismantled and moved out of the way. It then has to be reassembled and dismantled again according to the tide. Because of the tides we have to be careful with fatigue management and shift patterns.”

Ultra-high pressure jetting, running at 36,000 pounds per square inch has been used to remove scaling, old paint and rust:

“The guys doing the jetting wear Kevlar suits and we set up exclusion zones as there is enough pressure there to cause someone serious injury,” explained Martin. “The machines are also very noisy so we put up acoustic blankets to alleviate that and we take noise readings constantly to ensure we are below the mandatory requirement for hearing protection,” he said.