Tuesday 29 Aug 2017
Passengers can go with the flow following installation of new bridge between Ely and Peterborough
Passengers on trains travelling between Ely and Peterborough are travelling over a much stronger and reliable railway bridge over the Briggate River in Whittlesey, Peterborough today, following its installation over the August bank holiday weekend.
Network Rail’s orange army replaced the bridge in three days without disrupting river traffic, to improve reliability as part of the company’s Railway Upgrade Plan. During the equivalent of 2,200 hours of work, a team of lookouts were on hand to stop the work for river traffic so there was no impact on those using the river. Scaffolding was also placed around the bridge as an extra safety measure to stop anything from falling below.
The bridge is on the line between Ely and Peterborough and used by up to five passenger trains an hour and twelve freight trains a day. Between Saturday 26 August and Monday 28 August the existing timber decked bridge was replaced with a stronger steel decked bridge. Without the replacement, a speed restriction would need to be imposed to protect the bridge from heavy trains, resulting in delays to both passenger and freight services. The new bridge will also last longer and is less expensive to maintain.
Simon Ancona, Network Rail's chief operating officer for Anglia, said: “Our team of engineers have worked hard over the weekend to keep the river open while installing the new bridge as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We no longer need to put a speed restriction in place at this point, making services more reliable. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carried out this work.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “Engineering works are vital for ourselves and Network Rail to provide a better railway for future generations. This new bridge means we will now be able to run faster trains over Whittlesey bridge.”
As part of the work, the track was replaced and the ballast, the stones that form the track bed, were made deeper to improve drainage to increase reliability.
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.