Friday 21 Feb 2003

STATEMENT TO EDP

Route:
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. 

Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Journalists
Network Rail press office - South East route
020 3357 7969
southeastroutecomms@networkrail.co.uk

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 4.7 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.

We are building a better railway for a better Britain.

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