Thursday 27 Jul 2017
River remains open for replacement railway bridge works at Whittlesey
A railway bridge over the Briggate River in Whittlesey, Peterborough, is set to be replaced during the August bank holiday weekend while the river remains open to traffic as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan.
The bridge is on the line between Ely and Peterborough which is 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 will be 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.
The work has been planned so that the river can be kept open during the replacement, with a team of lookouts being employed to stop work if river traffic needs to pass, without it impacting on the delivery of work.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We are replacing this well-used bridge with a much stronger one, which will mean fewer delays for passengers. The new bridge has the added bonus of being more economical to maintain, which means we can spend money on improving other parts of Anglia’s network as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. The river will remain open while we work, but the railway will be closed between March and Peterborough. Passengers are advised to plan ahead of travelling this August bank holiday.”
As part of the work, the track will be replaced and the ballast, the stones that form the track bed, will be made deeper to improve drainage to increase reliability.
Passengers are advised to check before they travel as a rail replacement bus service will run from between March and Peterborough throughout the work. Details are available at www.nationalrail.co.uk
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.