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FRP Composite Walkways - the safe, reliable and long-term solution...

FRP Composite Walkways - the safe, reliable and long-term solution...

Ensuring the safety of rail maintenance workers is a principle factor of any refurbishment and new-build rail projects.  The Bicester to Oxford railway collaboration programme, for which Pipex px® supplied, fabricated and delivered 68M of Fibre Reinforced Polymer (FRP) composite walkways and 3 FRP Refuges, is one such example.

Each of the lightweight and corrosion resistant walkways were required to provide safe service access alongside the new railway line between Bicester Town and Islip Station. 

Each walkway measured 0.7M in width and ranged in length from 8M up to 18M, with the refuges 0.7M x 1M, all FRP structures were constructed from highly durable EXTREN® series 525 FRP plates, 610mm FRP I-Beam profiles and SAFRAIL® FRP handrails. Structural elements of the walkways were fully bonded without the need of mechanical fasteners.

However, the fabrication of the 18M span FRP walkway, destined to extend across a river, provided the Pipex px® Engineering Services Department (ESD) with a new challenge!

Pipex px® Innovative FRP Splice Joint

             (Pipex px® specialist FRP splice joint)


To ensure completion within the clients’ stringent delivery perimeters, the extensive walkway was fabricated using 14M sections of 36” Double Web Beam (DWB) combined with an innovative, specialist FRP Splice joint designed, developed and built in house by our engineering experts. 

The splice joint was manufactured using EXTREN® FRP plates with steel bolts and was specifically designed to withstand a service load of 2kN/m² as per Eurocode 1991:1-1 Action on Structures.

Due to Pipex px® advanced manufacturing and testing capabilities, our engineers were able to conduct in-house load testing to assess the safety and structural integrity of the splice joint prior to delivery and installation on-site.

The walkway was successfully tested to 4kN/m² including all partial factors listed in EC1-1.

To read more about this innovative splice joint & testing    CLICK HERE


Pipex px® FRP Walkway load testing

(FRP walkway during the load test at HQ,Plymouth, UK)

Pipex px® 18M FRP Walkway during lift

(The 18M FRP walkway at Pipex px® HQ, Plymouth, UK)

Pipex px® FRP Refuges installed on site        


Following delivery to site, the FRP refuges were installed at regular intervals in order to afford a safe sanctuary to the workforce in the event of an on-coming train.

As our products are built offsite, our structures were installed in just one weekend on this project therefore keeping any disruption to an absolute minimum - we could be doing the same for you!.....


If you would like to know more about the advantages of Pipex px® FRP products, our Engineering Services or would like to witness our advance manufacturing capabilities in person - please contact a member of our team now on 01752 581200 to request a visit to our HQ manufacturing facilities in Plymouth - we look forward to seeing you!

(Image Left: FRP Refuges installed on-site)



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