Wednesday 8 Oct 2008
A DAY’S WORK FOR 120 YEARS OF RAIL BENEFITS
Most of the bridge construction work was completed in advance, away from the railway to minimise the amount of time the railway would need to be closed.
The bridge's walkway, hand railings and stone ballast were assembled first before the bridge deck was slotted into place. The number of hours that the railway line was closed for this improvement work was significantly cut back by 75%.
Weighing in at 117 tonnes, the new railway bridge near New Pill Stream is built to last 120 years and is a more robust structure than the replaced bridge, which was over a hundred years old.
Dave Ward, route director, Network Rail, says, “This project went really well. We delivered a more reliable infrastructure and brought the railway back on track on schedule - all within a day. The design of Pill Bridge, which has a short structural span and is single track, provided an ideal opportunity to trial this new delivery method."
The good weather conditions also played a critical role in the project as a 1000-tonne crane was required to remove the old bridge. The crane was also used to lift the new bridge at a height of 26 metres to put in place. The new bridge is a steel-concrete composite structure, with a length of 14 metres.
The old Pill Bridge was a single span structure, originally constructed in 1899. The abutments and wing walls were constructed from stone, and the superstructure comprised a mixture of early steel and wrought iron main girders and cross girders.
Despite some minor repairs to the steel and ironwork in 1975, a recent detailed examination highlighted areas of significant corrosion throughout the steel and ironwork. Additionally there were fractures and open joints to the abutments, wing walls and pilasters.
The railway line was closed at 10am on Sunday (28 September) and reopened on the same day at 6pm.
The £800,000 project was managed by Network Rail and delivered by Carillion.
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.