SpektrumBau 2022: Brextor trumps up – Four-line expansion at Liestal railway station

Brextor is back in action. This time at Liestal station, where a four-lane extension is being realised. The construction site has a few pitfalls, for example the space available is very limited and the schedule is very tight. It is precisely in such challenging construction projects that the Brextor can shine and play its trump cards.

Brextor was used in Liestal in the tightest of spaces

Liestal station is an important junction within the SBB (Swiss federal railways) network, but the difficulty is that until now two double-track lines have merged into one. This results in so-called crossing conflicts, where trains that are actually on time have to wait for trains coming from the other direction to pass.

This restricts capacity and causes additional, unnecessary delay minutes in the event of irregularities.
The widening of the northern and southern station entrances to four lanes should now ensure significantly fewer crossing conflicts. The additional platform edges, at which the trains can stop, will also allow more flexibility in the management of train traffic in future. Both allow for more punctual and disruption-free rail traffic on long-distance, regional and freight services. The four-lane extension Liestal is also one of the basic requirements for a later expansion of services between Olten and Basel.

Stefan Lang (left), construction foreman at Implenia, looks at the result of pile breaking with Brextor together with Roland Waser, Technical Manager BRC.

By expanding the platform facilities and underpasses, SBB is responding to the constantly growing number of travelers. The faster and more comfortably passengers can get to the trains, the more punctually the trains can depart. Liestal station is thus securing its role as a customer-friendly and efficient public transport hub.

The contract for the four-lane expansion was awarded to Implenia, the leading Swiss construction and real estate services provider. After all, the company has already demonstrated its expertise in the field of railroad construction on numerous occasions in the past, including the Zurich Oerlikon railroad station extension and the Gotthard Base Tunnel project of the century.

Time as a decisive factor

As the client, SBB attaches great importance to the work being carried out on schedule, as the four-track expansion is being carried out during ongoing rail operations. The timing of the construction site and the timely completion of the individual sections are of the utmost importance. For this reason, Implenia used the services of BRC Baudienstleister GmbH from Rain for the pile breaking. The now well-known Brextor takes on the task of pile breaking on this demanding construction site in the shortest possible time.

«The time pressure on this site is high, as various milestones have to be met,» confirms Stefan Lang, site manager at Implenia: “Using Brextor makes it easier to plan the construction site, the machine works very reliably and cleanly. With manual removal by chipping, there would always be a risk of damaging reinforcements and affecting the concrete quality at the pile head. I can rule out this risk with Brextor.” The many years of development work that BRC has invested also come into play here, after all, after 15 years of experience, thousands of pile heads have already been successfully processed with Brextor – this safety is also of the utmost importance at this construction site in Liestal, as it increases planning reliability and enables strict schedules to be adhered to.

Brextor actively saves costs

Would this work even be possible without the Brextor? Stefan Lang nods: “We would have to use demolition robots to work on the pile heads through chipping, which would of course take much longer. We would also need more space, which would be a major challenge here, as there is not enough room for a pointing hammer between the nail wall and the pile head.” For this reason, the wall, which is up to 6 metres high, would have to be moved back over a length of 300 metres just to create enough space for the pile breaking. This would mean a massive increase in costs. Thanks to Brextor, you save these costs.

Coupfix® increases the working speed enormously once again

Another BRC innovation is the co-operation with Winkebauer GmbH. BRC has been the general agent for Winkelbauer products in Switzerland for the past nine months. One of the products that is also used on the Brextor is the Coupfix® quick-change system, which allows lightning-fast tool changes including hydraulic and power supply for the attachment. Tedious hose changes are a thing of the past with this system and increase the work rate enormously, which Stefan Lang also confirms: “This system is a great advantage for us, as the same excavator not only does the pile breaking, but can also carry out digging work. Without these quick and speedy changes, we would have to mobilise an additional machine, which would also be a problem due to the limited space available. Our time slots here are sometimes very limited. This makes it all the more important that everything is well organised and the technology works perfectly.”

Cooperation works outstandingly well

Such a project also stands and falls with the co-operation between the executing company and the subcontractors. Stefan Lang has had good experiences with BRC in this regard: “The collaboration is very good, we have a good understanding and pull in the same direction. We want to deliver the best result for the client, without any ifs or buts. Even when solutions are required, we can work together to find a solution, which is an advantage that should not be underestimated.” Of course, the fact that many BRC employees have years of experience with Brextor is also a great added value. This enables them to apply their expertise even on the most difficult construction sites and achieve optimum performance. This enables them to apply their expertise even on the most difficult construction sites and achieve optimum performance.

The environmental aspect should not be underestimated

Now, of course, the question automatically arises as to whether pile breaking could be carried out without Brextor on such a construction site with limited space. Stefan Lang agrees, but points out: “Of course, anything is possible, but we only have a limited time window available and if this cannot be massively extended, such an endeavour without Brextor would only be possible with a lot of resources and personnel.”

A few days later: the result is impressive!

Admittedly, the environmental aspect of Brextor has been neglected in our reporting so far. The comparison of chipping with an air compressor shows that 70% fuel can be saved when pile breaking with Brextor. (e.g. 25 litres per pile head Ø 100 cm and extraction height 100 cm)

With the fuel saved, the Brextor also makes a contribution to the CO2 footprint of a construction site. In most cases, the fuel costs of the compressor are not allocated to the pile breaking.

We were able to see the speed of Brextor for ourselves live on the construction site. In a very short time, the pile heads are machined and the iron exposed. This outstanding performance has not changed over the years. The conditions under which Brextor can operate are very impressive. Even in tight spaces, as can be seen above.

The future of Brextor begins today

Implenia is once again demonstrating its openness to new technologies that bring valuable added value to construction sites. Brextor can fully utilise its advantages, especially with the four-lane expansion in Liestal. The environment benefits not least from the reuse of the demolition material and the lower fuel consumption compared to conventional methods of pile breaking. It should not be forgotten that despite the high speed, the quality of the end result is simply unrivalled. The Brextor has revolutionised pile breaking in all these areas and has already become mandatory standard equipment on many construction sites.

SpektrumBau Juni 2022 Edition

Original press release in German.

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