Thursday 27 May 2021
Work ramps up on Manton bridge reconstruction as Network Rail approaches main stage of £2.8million upgrade
The main stage of work on a major project to fully reconstruct Manton railway bridge, which is over 150 years old, is fast approaching.
Network Rail started work on the project to replace the bridge in April and the newer, stronger one is being installed next weekend. It will mean passenger and freight services can continue running safely and reliably on the line between Melton Mowbray and Stamford/Kettering for years to come.
Swapping the old bridge for a newer version is not quite as simple as it sounds. Teams have set up compounds, carried out preparation work and installed a temporary scaffold bridge for any wires to run across so they can be installed on the new structure. Ramps for engineers to access the track have also been put in place to make it easier for them to remove the old bridge.
Between the last train service on Thursday 3 June and the first service on Monday 7 June, the bridge will be removed. The new one – which weighs around 425 tonnes - will be installed from underneath.
Once the new bridge is in place, the next stage of the project will involve moving the cables, removing the temporary ramps and taking the scaffold bridge down. The road will reopen on Monday 5 July and the project will be fully completed later in the month.
The section of the A6003 at the bridge will remain closed until Monday 5 July to allow the work to take place safely. A signposted diversion is in place for drivers and the footpath will remain open for pedestrians and cyclists.
During the main stage of the project, a section of the line will also be closed and there will be changes to train services. Buses will replace CrossCountry trains between Melton Mowbray and Peterborough on Friday 4, Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 June.
On Friday 4 June, the two East Midlands Railway services which usually run between Nottingham and Norwich via Melton Mowbray are being diverted via Grantham. Rail replacement bus services will connect passengers between Nottingham and Peterborough.
Passengers who need to travel are strongly advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “We know this section of the A6003 is a vital connection for drivers in Rutland and the surrounding areas and we want to thank them for their patience while this vital upgrade is carried out.
“Although the first stages of the work haven’t been visible for the local community, a lot of preparation is involved before lifting the bridge and installing the new one – and the project can only be carried out safely when the road is closed.
“Reconstructing Manton bridge will mean people can safely and reliably connect to other towns and cities via rail or road for generations to come.”
Councillor Lucy Stephenson, Cabinet Member for Highways at Rutland County Council, said: “I’d also like to thank local residents for their patience while Network Rail carries out this extensive bridge repair project. We know it’s a massive inconvenience for drivers who are trying to get around the county, and I thank everyone who is following the official diversion route. This is important because it sends traffic along the safest and most appropriate route while the bridge replacement works are ongoing.
“The Council is supporting Leicestershire Police to deter drivers from taking to the back roads in an attempt to avoid the diversion. Speeding and irresponsible driving on these rural roads is dangerous and completely unacceptable. This diversion is also designed specifically to stop heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) contravening weight limits by using country lanes. At this crucial stage of the bridge reconstruction, please continue to be patient, drive to the conditions, use the diversion and show consideration for local communities and other road users while Network Rail completes these important works.”
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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.
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.