New and improved railway bridge opens in Wandsworth Common: Northcote Lodge schoolchildren at Cat's Back Bridge-2

Wednesday 22 Mar 2017

New and improved railway bridge opens in Wandsworth Common

Route:
South East

A new and improved footbridge to take pedestrians safely over one of London’s busiest rail lines through Wandsworth Common was officially opened by students from nearby Northcote Lodge School on Tuesday 22nd March.

The popular route over the railway, known locally as Cat’s Back Bridge, closed to the public in January while Network Rail replaced the old structure with a modern steel replacement. The work meant pupils had to take a longer diversionary route between the school and its playing fields, which are on opposite sides of the tracks.

Located between Clapham Junction and Wandsworth Common stations, the new bridge has been designed to take people across the railway for the next 100 years.

Thomas Cowie, Network Rail programme manager, said:

“As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan we’re modernising the railway across Britain and that includes replacing ageing structures such as Cat’s Back Bridge.

“I’d like to thank local residents and also the teachers and students at Northcote Lodge School for their patience while we carried out this work. The bridge provides a safe and direct route to the school and its playing pitches, so we are pleased we could reopen it in time for the summer term.”

Bruce Karsten, vice-principal of Northcote Lodge School, said:

“Network Rail has done a great job in keeping us up to date with the works and we are grateful that they have completed everything so speedily.  The boys are looking forward to being able to use the bridge again on their way to and from school as well as having access to the sports pitches across the railway line.”

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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.

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