Monday 11 Apr 2022
New railway bridge to be driven through Leamington Spa this Easter
Final preparations are being made before a new railway bridge is driven through the streets of Leamington Spa this Easter.
Network Rail is completely replacing Rugby Road railway bridge over the A445 as part of a £2.4m investment to improve future journeys for passengers and freight between Nuneaton and Leamington Spa.
During a full railway and road closure from late on Thursday 14 April to early Tuesday 19 April, the existing 118-year-old bridge* will be removed by a huge 96-wheeled transporter vehicle known as a SPMT (self-propelled modular transporter).
This footage shows a very similar project taking place in Warrington over August bank holiday 2021.
Then the new structure**, which has been built in recent weeks at the nearby Potterton Sports Fields, will be driven down the A445 and lifted into place before the railway is reinstated above ready for trains to start running again on Tuesday 19 April.
An animation has been created to ensure the bridge will fit when it's driven along the A445 and lampposts and street signs have been temporarily removed.
The upgrade involves:
- The removal of the old bridge, weighing 372 tonnes
- Installation of the new 60-tonne bridge
- 800 tonnes of railway foundation stone (ballast) being laid on the new bridge
- Tracks being reinstated over the new stone so trains can resume running
Paul Randall, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “Replacing Rugby Road railway bridge is a complex engineering project and I’d like to thank residents and businesses in advance of this major work.
“There will be some disruption to rail and road travel during the £2.4m upgrade. That’s why we’re advising passengers to travel either side of the bank holiday weekend and to check National Rail Enquiries to plan their journeys in advance.”
To carry out the work safely, the railway between Nuneaton and Leamington Spa will be closed from Friday 15 to Monday 18 April, with replacement bus services in operation to keep passengers moving.
People are being advised to travel either side of the bank holiday on Thursday 14 and Tuesday 19 April and to plan ahead at www.nationalrail.co.uk.
Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “This important work will mean safer journeys for passengers and remove the need for the restrictive speed limits which currently impact services.
“I would like to thank our customers for their patience while this major piece of engineering is carried out. Replacement buses will be in operation and I urge people to check their journeys before setting out.”
John Robson, CrossCountry regional director for West Midlands and the North West, said: “Investment in infrastructure such as this is really exciting as it helps to improve passengers’ journeys. I’d like to thank our customers for their support and patience and advise people to check their journeys before travelling.”
Dozens of local people attended a public information event about the project in March.
There they learned how a speed limit of 20mph is currently in place for trains because of the existing bridge's condition.
When the new structure is installed the speed limit can be lifted meaning faster, more reliable journeys for passengers in time for Commonwealth Games events this summer.
Network Rail is working with Warwick District Council and Warwickshire County Council to minimise disruption to the community during the essential work.
An information helpline has also been set up for people to find out more on the Warwick District Council website.
Notes to Editors
For any queries about this press release please email media manager Chris Halpin on email@example.com
*About the old bridge
The bridge was originally constructed around 1844 in stone and a cast-iron deck
It was built to support two tracks and a platform for the northbound line to the now-closed Milverton station.
In 1904, the deck was replaced with the current construction and another southbound platform was built.
The station closed in 1965 and the northbound platform was removed.
**About the new bridge
The new bridge is a reinforced concrete ‘trough type’ construction, supported on precast reinforced concrete cill units on the existing cut down abutments.
The deck will carry both tracks and incorporate worker walkways.
The new deck will provide a minimum clear height of 4.7m.
Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41
Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries
Network Rail press office - North West & Central Region
About Network Rail
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.