Friday 28 Jul 2017
Early opening of Penrith’s new £1.1m footbridge over the West Coast main line
- London North Western
A new footbridge which will provide safe access over the railway through Penrith for years to come has been officially opened.
Gillwilly footbridge, north of Penrith station, reopened today (Friday 28 July) - three days earlier than expected.
Local residents joined the Mayor and members of Eden District Council, Network Rail and its contractor Storey on the Castletown side of the bridge to mark the occasion.
As part of the Great North Rail Project, which is part of the national Railway Upgrade Plan, work started to replace the original footbridge in April 2017. It was lifted into place on 15 July (see pics) and now carries local people over the busy, electrified West Coast main line.
Helena Povah, project scheme sponsor for Network Rail, said:
“I’d like to thank local residents for their patience while the footbridge was closed while we carried out this essential work. Not only did we have to remove the old pedestrian footbridge and install the new steel footbridge, we also had to make some important alterations to the overhead line equipment which powers the trains.
“I am delighted that the work is now complete and residents can use this new footbridge to cross the railway safely.”
Mary Robinson, Chairman of the District Council, said:
“We’re delighted to see the bridge reopened which connects the Castletown residents back to the other side of town - with no more detours!”
Scott Jackson, Mayor of Penrith, added:
“Thank you Story Contracting and Network Rail for helping build bridges in Penrith!”
The £1.1m investment in the bridge complements the recent upgrade work at Penrith station, adding to the improved railway facilities for the local community.
About Network Rail
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.