Harrington Humps, Rail Plate Load Tests


We were appointed as specialist consultants by the Client to undertake an assessment of Plate Bearing Capacity at a number of newly modified railway platforms in north and west Wales. Over a series of completed and planned works, we were appointed in the first instance to supervise and undertake Plate Load Testing on recently improved platform surfaces.

The improved platforms to be tested comprised a series of “Harrington Humps” which are modular and easy-to-install systems by which the height and/or accessibility width of a railway platform can be increased at relatively low cost. Current and ongoing works comprise return night works visits to undertake Plate Load Tests at each improved station and provide a review of the results and technical implications.


As part of improvement to accessibility and safety at a number of stations across north and west Wales, a series of modular station improvements, known as “Harrington Humps”, are being installed. As part of the construction, the Client required technical information on how the improvements would perform under load during use.




We have been appointed to undertake Plate Load Tests and subsequent review of the data at a number of stations to date, with further testing already instructed as part of a next phase.  In a recent development, we have also been asked to implement more general ground investigation and assessment works.


The Plate Load Test data is to be used to predict the likely settlement of the new structures, validate the construction, and ultimately allow the platform improvements to be adopted and utilised as part of each station infrastructure.





Assessment was undertaken in line with good practice documents such as BS5930 and BS 1377:1900 – Part 9, which works being addressed under Health and Safety systems that include Track Visitor Permits for the rail work element. We continue to provide support to the Client, through a number of phases of testing at additional stations as the project progresses including more general intrusive ground investigation.


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