Wednesday 28 Jan 2015
Orphanage Road bridge to be replaced as work to upgrade railway at Watford continues
Major work to replace the railway bridge at Orphanage Road in Watford will start in February as essential improvements to provide a better, more reliable railway for passengers on the West Coast Main Line continues.
Once complete, this upgrade will mean the bridge is fit for the future and trains can travel through this part of the line at 125mph instead of 90mph, which will help to support any future line speed increases.
As part of the preparation work to allow the new bridge to be installed, Orphanage Road will be closed to road and pedestrian traffic for 12 weeks from Monday February 2 to Friday April 17. The new bridge will be installed over the Easter bank holiday weekend.
The work is part of a £81m project to upgrade and deliver a more reliable railway between Milton Keynes and London Euston.
Terry Strickland, Network Rail area director, said: “This investment is absolutely vital to help us deliver a better service for passengers. The section of track through Watford Junction is one of the most intensively used, high-speed sections of railway in Britain and has seen tremendous growth in traffic and passengers over the last five years.
“A key part of the scheme is to rebuild the bridge over Orphanage road, to ensure we have a structure that is in good condition for future decades of railway and vehicle traffic. Once complete, the work will also enable trains to travel at a faster speed through this stretch of railway. Together with new track and signalling this will help to deliver a better railway for passengers.
“There is never a good time to close roads and we apologise for any inconvenience this will cause. This work is essential to maintain reliable train services for the millions of passengers who travel and rely on Europe’s busiest mixed use railway – the main line out of Euston."
Network Rail has worked closely with Hertfordshire County Council to agree a road diversion for vehicles, which will be signposted. We have also agreed two alternative walking routes for pedestrians to access the station using Reeds Walk and Radlett Road.
Pedestrians will not be able to access Orphanage Road from Monday February 2 until Monday February 23 between the hours of 7am to 5.30pm. After Monday 23 February, pedestrian access will be closed at all times and people will have to use one of the alternative walking routes until the reopening of Orphanage Road bridge on Friday April 17.
As part of the work to the bridge, a collision protection beam will be installed to protect the structure against it being struck by vehicles.
Notes to editors
Network Rail’s project to improve the railway in Watford includes replacing 12 miles of track, signalling equipment and overhead power lines. Once the work is completed in 2015, this will help to deliver a more punctual service, modern and reliable infrastructure and help to support future line speed increases.
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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.
Every day, there are more than 4.8 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.