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Phase 3 of Loch Earn Railway Path, Perthshire

St Fillans Community Trust
Strathearn, Perthshire
March 2017 – September 2017, completed to program

Work Scope

With multiple sub-contractors and restricted access, our work on Phase 3 of the Loch Earn Railway Path was one of the most complex contracts we’ve undertaken in recent years.

The Loch Earn Railway Path Project aims to transform the defunct St Fillans-Lochearhead railway line into safe off-road links between villages in Perthshire. Before this, people would have to walk along the existing trunk road, a risky option due to its frequent use by heavy lorries and motorcycles.

First on the list for Phase 3 was tackling a 1km tarred section that sat alongside a steep railway embankment.

Our staff and machinery were deployed to carry out the necessary excavations, which included 240 cubic metres of rock-breaking, as well as constructing a retaining wall and path under a building up to the sub-base layer.

St Fillans Railway Path Phase 3 Completed Footpath

Challenges & Result

Access to 40m of the tar path was initially restricted given that it weaved through a railway tunnel. However, CRC staff completed the required confined space training and conducted extra risk assessments to ensure that excavation could take place safely.

With a 7m climb to the railway embankment, we also constructed a 140m long, all-abilities ramp with a 5% slope. This involved moving 2,000 tonnes of fill material and building a 5m high retaining wall.

Throughout the project, CRC completed £22,000 worth of manual rock scaling, four weeks of tree removal and crown reduction, 1km of tar surfacing and 60m of roadside kerbs, 700m of fencing installation, and provided bespoke waymarker signage for roads and traffic control.

To ensure the project had a low environmental impact, an ecologist regularly visited the site to supervise tree felling. And we also worked our way round an exclusion zone set up nearby to protect a sensitive natural habitat.

We were thrilled to be a part of this exciting project by opening up access between Dalchonzie and St Fillans Village.

So far, the route has seen a tremendous amount of activity. Families, walking groups and cyclists are all enjoying the new path, and connecting villages are seeing a rise in visitors.

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