Thursday 2 Jan 2003


Network Rail is spending £1 million refurbishing Carlisle Bridge, which carries the main west coast railway line over the River Lune north of Lancaster station. The work is being carried out by the North West Structures Alliance, a partnership between Network Rail and its contractor Edmund Nuttall Ltd, and is expected to last up to five months. Train services will not be affected by the work but the pedestrian footpath that forms part of the bridge will be closed for safety reasons. However, there is an alternative river crossing via the new Millennium Bridge. The refurbishment project consists of strengthening the bridge by adding extra steelwork to bring it up to modern standards and repainting it from its present bright blue to a more pleasing pale blue/grey.  A second phase of work costing a further £750,000 will be undertaken later this year or early in 2004 when the approach spans on the south side of the bridge are waterproofed and the footpath handrails refurbished. Tim Clarke, Director of Network Rail’s North West region said: “Spending almost £2m on this bridge over the next two years demonstrates Network Rail’s commitment to provide a safe, reliable railway for the UK. Bringing the bridge up to modern day standards will ensure its life for many years to come.”

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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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