Trellisworks helps Dawlish railway get back on track in just two months

Wireless experts deliver emergency connectivity to the Dawlish rail repair site in the UK ensuring large data files could be sent from work teams to remote offices via 3G and 4G

Trellisworks helps Dawlish railway get back on track in just two months

Trellisworks, a specialist wireless connectivity expert, played a key role in the repair of storm-damaged Dawlish railway station in southern England, which literally fell into the sea during the floods earlier this year.  

The company designed and deployed an emergency communication network, which helped ensure repairs were completed in just two months and ahead of schedule, with no communication interruptions. 

Repairs to damaged sections of rail track around the town of Dawlish were a key priority following storms earlier this year when 80m of sea wall was washed away by high tides and taking a significant stretch of the Great Western Main Line railway with it and destroying the main rail connection to the south west of England. 

Trellisworks was selected by primary contractor Bam Nuttall to deploy a communication network at the site which was capable of sending and receiving large quantities of data rapidly and reliably. The network also needed to be flexible and resilient enough to cope with the changing situation on site as well as ongoing challenging weather conditions.

The ability for the repair team to easily and securely share large data files such as architectural blue prints with the team on the ground at Dawlish and those working at other locations including Bam Nuttall and Network Rail’s offices was critical. Alongside this was the need to incorporate separate access to site visitors, including members of the Cabinet oversight.

Rob Youster, Head of ICT at BAM Nuttall, said: “We needed a communication solution that was robust and capable of handling the high-end data needs of the site. It needed to provide secure wide area network (WAN) and wireless access reliably 24x7.”

The Trellisworks’ solution was based around Pepwave’s MAX wireless router range. These devices utilise 3G and 4G SIMs from different mobile networks operating in redundant pairs, which provides a highly resilient network with up to 100Mbps bandwidth across the site. When paired with a bespoke and complementary antenna device the solution was able to be implemented almost immediately.  

Incorporated into this was Trellisworks’ SIM management service, which ensured that no overage was incurred on any of the SIMs used by this solution, avoiding costly overage and subsequent bill shock for BAM Nuttall and its partner companies.

Jim Kernahan, co-founder of Trellisworks, said, “The challenges of providing robust and reliability connectivity in an environment like Dawlish cannot be underestimated. We were able to draw on our many years’ of experience to create, deploy and manage a communication network which met everyone’s needs.”

Rob Youster, IT Director at BAM Nuttall, concluded: “The emergency repairs at Dawlish garnered wide media, government and public attention and it was vital that we worked as efficiently and quickly as possible to restore this connection to the south west. 

“The communications network that Trellisworks created was absolutely vital to the smooth running of this project and ensured that the team on site were able to communicate and collaborate effectively with colleagues who were not based at Dawlish.”


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