Tuesday 19 Jan 2016
Phase two of Huntingdon ‘Iron Bridge’ railway upgrade to begin
A railway bridge which carries the East Coast Main Line through Huntingdon is set for the final phase of improvements as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
Back in November and December 2015, work took place over five weekends on the ‘Iron Bridge’ on Ermine Street near the town centre to strengthen the structure and carry out minor repairs.
Next month the second phase of work, which will see more extensive repairs and strengthening as well as the application of a special protective coating, will begin as part of a six-week programme to improve long term reliability and keep trains running over the bridge safely.
Work will be carried out 24 hours a day when it starts on 1 February and will continue until 14 March. Ermine Street will be closed to road vehicles throughout and temporary diversions in place although it will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists.
Members of the Network Rail project team will hold a drop-in session at Huntingdon library on Wednesday 20 January to answers residents’ questions and explain the plans that are in place to keep disruption to a minimum.
Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “Improvements like the work we’re doing to Ermine Street bridge keeps passenger and freight services running, which ultimately benefits the economies of the towns and cities served by the railway. The work has being carried out in two phases and the team will be working 24/7 to keep disruption levels as low as possible for the people of Huntingdon and I’d like to thank them for their patience while the work takes place.”
Notes to editors
- The work has been split into two separate phases to minimise disruption to trains as well as road users
- Ermine Street will close at 5am on Monday, 1 February, with engineers working 24/7 to get the work completed as quickly and as safely as possible
- The diversionary route has been agreed in partnership with Cambridgeshire Highways
- The public information event will take place at Huntingdon Library on Wednesday 20 January between 1pm and 6pm.
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About Network Rail
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 36,000 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.