Saturday 17 Feb 2018
Reliability boost for passengers as Network Rail complete £2.7 million bridge replacement in Portsmouth
Passengers are able to travel by rail between Portsmouth Harbour and Portsmouth & Southsea station again from this morning (Saturday 17th February) after Network Rail successfully replaced a 142-year-old railway bridge with a new 88-tonne British steel structure.
More than 50 Network Rail ‘Team Orange’ engineers have been working around the clock at Burnaby Road for five days to replace the life-expired bridge, delivering a more reliable train service for the future.
Load restrictions were put in place on the bridge to protect the previous structure, limiting freight train use. Passenger services would have required similar restrictions had this work not been carried out.
The original aesthetic of the former bridge has been reflected in the new structure, which has been painted with the cream and blue colours of the Portsmouth crest.
Stuart Kistruck, director of route asset management for Network Rail’s Wessex route, said:
“I’d like to thank passengers, motorists and those living in the local area for bearing with us as we’ve undertaken this important work. I’d also like to give thanks to our project team, who have completed this work safely and on-time despite some challenging weather conditions on site.
“This crossing is a really important part of our network, with thousands of trains passing over it every year carrying millions of passengers, so I’m very pleased we have been able to put in a new bridge that will support those journeys for many more years to come.”
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 38,000 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.