Thursday 19 Jun 2003
RIVER BRIDGE WORK TO CUT RAIL DELAYS
- Region & Route:
- Wales and Western
Thousands of pounds are being spent by Network Rail on a number of bridges across rivers in the West of England, to cut the time they are closed due to flooding.
The eight bridges – seven in Devon and one in Cornwall – all share a common problem: the deck is not anchored to the supports so, following flooding, lengthy checks have to be carried out to ensure the bridge is safe before the track can be reopened. The work being carried out will connect the deck to the supports and remove the risk of the span shifting during a flood. It means the bridges will be opened more quickly following any flooding and so improve services to customers. In addition, with the deck anchorage complete, the bridges can remain open longer during flooding.
Work is being carried out this summer in Devon on:
· Creedy river bridge, near Newton St Cyres and Crediton stations
· Hill Barton Farm bridge, near Yeoford station
· Popes bridge, near Lapford station
· Lapford Wood bridge, near Lapford station
· Wiermarsh viaduct, near Umberleigh station
· Black bridge, near Chapleton station
· River Culm bridge, near Tiverton station
In Cornwall, work will take place at Luxulyan bridge near St Austell station. Each project is costing between £10,000 and £60,000. The railway lines are due to remain open while work is carried out.
“The bridges we are working on all cross rivers which are prone to flooding of the track,” said Graeme Tandy, Network Rail’s scheme project manager. “The problem then arises that there may be a shift in the top of the bridge if, for example, it is struck by an object carried along the river. When flooding subsides we have to carry out extensive checks to ensure no displacement has taken place. By carrying out work which will anchor the top to the bottom, these checks will take less time and the bridge reopened much more quickly.”
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 4.8 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.
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