Friday 10 Jul 2020
VIDEO: Work on viaduct well underway high above streets of Oxted, Surrey
A vital project to protect the future of the railway Oxted in Surrey to Uckfield and East Grinstead in Sussex is racing ahead.
Engineers from Network Rail and BAM Nuttall are working high above the streets of Oxted to refurbish the viaduct that carries the railway across the valley of the River Eden – and the A25.
The railway over the structure has been closed for three weekends in June and July to allow certain aspects of the work to be completed, with another closure this Sunday. However, the majority of the work will not affect passengers and will continue until at least February next year.
As well as all the viaduct steel work being grit-blasted back to bare metal and repainted, colleagues from BAM Nuttall are also repairing brickwork and replacing the movable bearings that support the weight of the bridge spans. These allow the steel to move as it expands and contracts lengthways in the heat of the summer and the cold of the winter, without affecting the railway tracks laid on it.
Paul Harwood, regional investment director for Network Rail, said:
“Thanks to everyone who has had their weekend travel affected over the past few weeks. Our viaduct in Oxted is more than 100 years old and like any structure of that age, needs maintenance and servicing to keep it safe.
“Overhauling the viaduct is essential to ensuring we maintain a good level of service for passengers who use this route.”
Chris Fowler, Customer Services Director for Southern, said:
“On behalf of our customers, we welcome Network Rail’s major investment to maintain safe travel across this local landmark long into the future. We thank everyone who has been affected by these weekend closures for their patience.”
Work at Eridge on the Uckfield line is ongoing, with a new bridge being installed to replace the life-expired original. Read more here.
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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.
Usually, there are almost five 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.