Tuesday 17 Aug 2004


South East
London North Western

A £350,000 project to strengthen Irchester railway bridge in Northampton, enabling it to meet new EU standards to carry 40 tonne vehicles, is to be undertaken by Network Rail. Andy Milne, Network Rail’s Project Manager for London North Western territory explained: “This essential engineering work is yet another local example of Network Rail’s commitment to rebuilding Britain’s railway. “It highlights our partnership working with local authorities around the country to meet new EU standards for strengthening bridges.” In order to carry out the work the road will be closed to vehicular traffic for seven weeks, with pedestrian access maintained by a temporary footbridge. The road closure will take effect from 6am on Monday 23 August and is scheduled to re-open on Sunday10 October. A sign-posted diversion route has been agreed with Northampton County Council, which is part funding the project. The project involves the strengthening of an existing wrought iron beam bridge that carries Station Road over the Midland Mainline railway and the casting of a reinforced concrete slab over the top of the existing bridge. Train services will operate as normal during the project.

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Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.

About the Railway Upgrade Plan

The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:

  • longer, faster more frequent trains;
  • better, more reliable infrastructure; and
  • better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.

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