Friday 26 Sep 2003


Region & Route:
| Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern
| Southern
 On 4 & 5 October 2003, Network Rail is concentrating all of its local engineering resource on the railway around Trowse swingbridge, just south of Norwich Station.             The railway over Trowse swingbridge is an incredibly busy section of track, it is a single line, and carries all trains coming in and out of Norwich Station, to and from London and Ely.  Over 850 trains a week use this line.  That’s almost 45,000 trains a year.  The weekday train services to and from Norwich stretch over 21 hours of the day. The first train is the 0500 to London and the last arrives back in Norwich at 0140, leaving only three hours to carry out regular maintenance work.  This situation highlights the opposing forces in the railway industry: delivering a comprehensive passenger service versus maintaining the infrastructure without disrupting passengers. Therefore Network Rail’s engineers and planners in East Anglia Region have been working hard, behind the scenes, to put together a 46- hour work plan which maximises the time on track and involves as much activity as possible. - more -Trowse – 2             The work will start at 06.00 Saturday 4 October and finish at midnight on Sunday 5 October, opening to passenger traffic in time for Monday’s morning peak.  Over the weekend, coaches will replace trains to all stations from Norwich to Wymondham and Norwich to Ipswich. The 46 hours in between will see around 200 employees involved in a vast amount of wide-ranging work.             Work includes: o       Replacing switches and crossings o       Relaying 300 yards of track o       Testing and replacing track circuit cables o       Improving track bed drainage at a number of sites o       Tamping o       10 miles of vegetation clearance o       Timber replacement on Trowse swingbridge o       renewing points machines o       replacing ballast o       welding o       Overhead line maintenance The Network Rail planners, in order to produce an effective and efficient work plan, have squeezed so much in to the job that every single member of staff in the local maintenance and renewals team will be working. Mark Phillips, Network Rail Regional Director said: “This job has been carefully planned to fully utilise the time available on site.  It is an efficient way to deliver a safe and well performing railway to our freight customers, train operators and their passengers.” - more - Trowse – 3 The job will also be focussing efforts on Trowse swingbridge. The bridge is a unique structure, made to measure for this location and its purpose.  It was installed in 1985 and is the third bridge over the River Wensum.  The first bridge was opened in 1845 and the second in 1906.  Trowse swingbridge is incredibly important to the route’s performance as a problem can disable services in and out of Norwich.  It is a complex structure with one-off components, therefore much effort is put into maintaining the bridge.  It is computer operated and is opened by a hydraulic pump.  It takes 20 minutes to fully open and both ends of the bridge move.  During the job, timbers, which support the track as it makes its transition to the bridge, will be replaced and set in a resin bed to stabilise them.  The scarf joints, which connect and disconnect the track, will be replaced and the overhead line, which also has to disconnect will be maintained.  As a result, the current 20mph speed restriction will be lifted and the normal speed of 40mph reapplied. All this within 46 hours!  Network Rail is committed to investing in its railway network to improve the performance and reliability of its assets for the travelling public.

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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.

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