Friday 21 Feb 2003


South East
Due to the unique and complex structure of the Trowse swingbridge, Network Rail has been working on a new solution, involving the upgrade of insulator cables, to solve the recent overhead line complications.  We have experienced some initial teething problems during this maintenance work, which resulted in Wednesday’s delays. Network Rail endeavours to rectify this problem and will continue to work to improve services.  We apologise for any inconvenience caused by the delays.   Trowse swingbridge – a brief history Trowse swingbridge is a unique and intricate piece of engineering.  It is part of the main rail artery into Norwich and has around 150 trains passing over it every weekday at a speed of 40mph.  Originally built in 1845, Trowse was the first swingbridge in East Anglia and was built by local engineer George Parker Bidder.  The bridge was rebuilt in 1906 and 1986.  It weighs around 350 tonnes and works on a system of computer controlled jacks and hydraulic pumps that raise the structure and rotate it to allow river traffic to pass through.  It is locked back into place to rejoin the track.  The bridge, even though it rotates, still has overhead lines which have to disconnect and reconnect every time the bridge opens.  The overhead lines which carry 25,000 volts must join exactly in the right place to allow the current to run through. 

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