We are currently experiencing server issues which may prevent you logging in or cause delays in using processes such as payment, bookings or applications. We are working hard to resolve these issues.

Renovation of Holme railway tunnel, Pontefract

18 October, 2016 | 10:30 - 14:00

Successful collaboration between all involved ensured the work was completed on time and without any incidents
Successful collaboration between all involved ensured the work was completed on time and without any incidents

About this event

Built in 1849 and situated south east of Burnley, Holme Tunnel is a 250m long twin rail track masonry lined tunnel bored through glacial landslip material. By the early 1980s it had suffered severe asymmetric distortion, particularly at the southern portal. Strengthening works had failed to prevent continuing deterioration, resulting in the imposition of a 20mph line speed restriction and an extensive inspection, monitoring and maintenance programme.

Under a design and build contract, Donaldson Associates and AMCO Rail worked collaboratively with Network Rail to reinstate structural integrity, restore the original 45mph line speed, allow the return of a normal asset management regime and provide the required train/freight gauge with standard clearances.

Successful collaboration between all involved and careful pre-planning and assessment of the challenging conditions on site ensured that the work was completed on time and without any incidents to the workforce for the entire 308 day project.


Peter Harris, Donaldson Associates
Dave Thomas, Amco Rail


10.30: Coffee and registration
11.00: Talk by Peter Harris and Dave Thomas, followed by questions and discussion
12.45: Bar open and buffet lunch


To attend please contact mail@hughallan.net by 14 October 2016. Payment for lunch will be in cash when you register at the meeting. The cost for lunch will be £11 per person and £2 for dessert.

Organised by the Retired Members' section.

Peter Harris BEng CEng FICE MIStructE

Peter is Director of Civil Engineering at Donaldson Associates specialising in tunnelling and in particular masonry rail tunnels and their refurbishment or reconstruction. He worked for British Coal for 13 years on both surface and underground structures and then for Geoffrey Collett Associates for six years on building structures, before returning to the underworld to work for Donaldsons on tunnelling projects. He has been with the firm for 21 years and worked on CTRL, Crossrail and other new tunnel works as well some of Network Rail's most severely distressed tunnels such as Standedge, Conisbrough, Thackley Old and Holme. Peter is the tunnelling convenor for the ICE Panel for Historical Engineering Works.

Dave Thomas

Dave is a Contracts Manager with AMCO Rail, a long servant of the Company with 29 years’ service to date. Originally trained as a mining engineer, he made the move into civil engineering in 2002 and found his vocation in railway tunnels.