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ParaDrain geogrid combined with site won fill clayey material to form a railway embankment

Location of work/project:



England – Nottingham – EMG Gateway (Roxhill/Winvic


By using ParaDrain, which combines reinforcement and drainage into a geogrid, sustainable and environmentally friendly slopes and walls can be designed and constructed. Now, engineers can design reinforced soil structures using marginal poorly drained fills without the need to import granular fill, which has both cost and environmental implications.

Roxhill Kegworth Ltd (Roxhill) planned in 2016 the construction of the East Midlands Gateway Strategic Rail Freight Interchange. The development site covers approximately 374 ha in total.

The proposed development comprises a Strategic Rail Freight Interchange (SRFI), incorporating several large warehouses and associated infrastructure, a rail freight container terminal and a landscape bund to the north providing visual screening for the villages of Lockington and Hemington.

​Maccaferri provided solution for the reinforced soil slopes embankment to support the private railway, linking the EMG Rail Terminal to the national rail network.

The slope angle varies between 1:1 to 70degree and has a maximum height of 7.5m and a minimum of 2.5m.

​The embankment was constructed during 2018 using a combination of cohesive material of different nature such as Class 7C for the reinforced soil block, Class 7A (selected fill above, below and behind the reinforced soil block) and Class 2 (general fill on the unreinforced embankment extremity). The specification of the backfill was in accordance with the MCHW Specification for Highway Works, Series 600. The embankment with our solution is 980m long and Macmat was used as erosion control measure for the embankment slopes.

​The project utilised around 70,000sqm of Paradrain. Paradrain geogrids are planar structures consisting of a biaxial array of composite geosynthetic strips. The strips comprise of a core of high tenacity polyester tendons encased in a polyethylene sheath. Paradrain has been specially developed for the reinforcement of slopes constructed from poorly draining backfill and has the unique property to dissipate pore water pressure in marginal fills and facilitating compaction operation.

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