Case study: Maintaining Wigan Springs Branch sidings  

Wigan Springs Branch is a busy depot designed to house more than 30 trains, to allow the regional train operator to manage their fleet and turn around trains ready to deliver passengers services each day. 

When NRL’s experienced team were engaged to assist with routine inspection and maintenance, a number derailment risks were identified which required resolution.  

Reporting improvement works 

Following a detailed inspection of the track, a number of areas of lipping were identified, including through the section from where the engineering train parked to the switch. 

If left unresolved, affected areas would be at risk of the lipping worsening, which could have created cracking on gauge corners and head sections. 

Within 24 hours, a full inspection report was issued to the client, detailing the derailment risks identified together with images of the affected assets and recommendations for repair works. A programme of grinding was recommended, with a number of days needed to complete the safety repair works – including reprofiling heads. 

Getting to work on site 

A site specific safety briefing was issued to NRL’s team, following which direction and prioritisation was agreed between NRL’s management team, so the Grinding Supervisory Manager was clear on the execution plan for the maintenance works. 

Work began at the Wigan Springs Branch on the main arrival road, once access times were agreed with the Facility Manager and track work could safely commence. With NRL’s team working various shifts to undertake the grinding work. 

Across 9 days NRL’s grinding team removed the heavy lipping and derailment hazards to plain line, points and a steel crossing section – before a full site walkthrough was undertaken by NRL’s supervisor to sign off the works and deem the track safe for trains to recommence using it. 

All track engineering forms were submitted to the Facility Manager upon completion of the works, with NRL also recording copies on our management system for future reference. 

Our expertise at work 


NRL Rail