In September 2001, we were approached by our client, the Severn Valley Railway, who advised they had purchased a parcel of land adjacent to their station at Highley, which they wished to develop for the storage of out-of-use locomotives and as a visitor attraction.

A cursory walkover of the site revealed that the area had previously been developed as a plateau with sidings to enable transfer of coal from the nearby Highley Colliery on to the main line railway.

Further more detailed investigation revealed that the site was overlain by fill to a depth of 12 metres and there were past mine workings beneath the site and that the hillside generally was unstable. As a consequence, in order to develop the site, more than £1 million worth of ground improvement works had to be undertaken to provide the foundations for the building. For this work, we won an inaugural Ground Engineering Award.

In order to maximise the available building space, the building is curved on plan, which required careful setting out of the steel frame. The project also won an ICE regional award.