Location: Collection ex Sittingbourne for delivery to East side of London
Size: 5615 loads minimum
Timeframe: 2 years minimum
Sector: Construction, concrete manufacture


Our customer is a leading tunnel segment manufacturer and this is the type of project that demonstrates the wide range of capability within the Swain Group.

The Swain Group has worked with this customer over many years. All their projects involve bespoke operational methods, driver training and equipment. Previous projects completed include Piccadilly Express Extension ,Heathrow Express Extension Rail tunnels, Heathrow T5 surface water tunnels and Brighton and Hove Waste Water tunnel.

The challenge

The huge Lee Tunnel project is one of the largest sewer tunnels in the UK and in total runs for 7,000 metres. The tunnel boring machine cannot stop and must be supplied without fail with sufficient segments to maintain its progress. Our challenge is to fulfil their no fail delivery need to the underground tunnel boring operation with industry leading safety requirements.

Operationally the requirement is for day, night and weekend deliveries. Typically with limited storage at the delivery point the vagaries of tunnelling means that delivery requirements fluctuate wildly. The maximum deliveries completed to date in a day has been 32 but literally the next day it can go to zero.

Our solution

Purpose designed trailers with full operational support from our 220 vehicle fleet.

Our customer wanted a purpose designed side protection system to protect their staff against falls while slinging the segments on loading and offloading.

Our workshops designed and constructed the system you see in the photography. This has been fitted to 25 trailers in our fabrication workshops.

In addition we worked with our client to devise the strapping system that holds the tunnel segments together in storage and in transport. The objective is to ensure the segments do not suffer from chipping (damage to segment edges). We then devised the safe system of load restraint straps that are further applied to ensure that the loads stay in place at the back of the trailers while in transit.

This documented procedure was designed by our Driver Training Officer and all drivers are trained in its application.


Our large fleet and trailer base means we are masters at coping with these severe fluctuations in vehicle and driver need always with safety and service uppermost our minds.

Our customer is delighted and as always this is the basis for an ongoing long term relationship.