For the first time in Canada, the Verona System was used on the Confederation Line’s Belfast Yard connector. This system, patented by the Petrucco Group (based in Italy), was used to reinforce and support the existing VIA railroad tracks while a concrete section of the Belfast Yard connector tunnel was pushed under the tracks.
The Verona System allowed for minimal interruptions to the VIA Rail trains, compared to extended interruptions required with more traditional methods. The connector tunnel will allow vehicles to travel to and from the Light Rail Transit (LRT) track to the Belfast Yard facility located on Belfast Road.
The 12 x 20 metre section of tunnel, weighing in at roughly 1.7 million kilograms, was built beside the tracks and slowly pushed into place by using 14 hydraulic jacks at about a millimetre per second that covered a distance of 500 millimetres. Once the jacks reached their maximum distance, spacers were added in between the jacks and the thrusting block. The process was repeated until completed. The first push began in mid-November and the final metres were pushed into place in early December 2014.
Once the push was completed, crews removed the temporary Verona support system during the overnight hours.
After the system was removed, crews backfilled and reinstated the VIA Rail tracks to their original condition. By Monday morning on December 15, 2014, preparations were underway to ship back the temporary support system to Europe.