Friday 9 Jan 2004


Region & Route:
At the crack of dawn on Christmas Day while everyone else was unwrapping presents and thinking about their lunch, Network Rail engineers and their contractors First Projects were preparing to take down the conveyor bridge which had dominated the southern approaches to Manchester Piccadilly station for 40 years. The bridge linked the long-closed Mayfield parcels depot on one side of the approach tracks with the former Parcel Force sorting office on the other side, which is currently being converted into prestigious offices. Due to the location of existing overhead power lines, an 800 tonne crane fitted with 90 metre boom was needed to do the job, positioned at a lower level in the former Parcel Force car park area. The outer claddings of the bridge had carefully been removed earlier in the year using a specially designed travelling scaffold, enabling the remaining 45 metre long main steel framework to be lifted out in one single movement. It was slowly rotated above the viaduct, and then gently lowered onto timber supports placed at intervals along a closed portion of a nearby road, where it was cut into smaller sections and taken away.

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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.

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