Civils and stations

04.10.07

Construction of new Ely rail bridge begins

Network Rail has begun to rebuild the rail bridge across the River Ouse at Ely which was damaged following a derailment of a freight train on 22 June.

It is hoped that the bridge will be open for passenger and freight services before Christmas. However, the weather will play an important factor going into autumn with any period of adverse conditions potentially creating a set back. High winds in particular will prevent the use of cranes lifting the new steel deck.

Simon Brazier, Civil Engineering Programme Manager for Network Rail, said: "We’re extremely pleased to be starting the construction phase of this project. There were a number of factors including the marshy fens location and the extent of the damage, which gave us some tricky problems in getting started on reconstruction but I’m confident that we’re now in the home stretch and look forward to restoring services for passengers as soon as possible."

Kier Rail, who is carrying out the work on behalf of Network Rail, has begun preparation works ahead of receiving final approval of a new single structure steel decked river span bridge. This is expected in the next few weeks.

The 30m steel span will sit on new independently piled reinforced concrete abutments and box culvert side spans. The bridge which will cost around £9m will stretch over 100 meters across the river. It will continue to carry a single line across the river with the capacity to carry two and be ready for W10 gauge freight. Since the derailed wagons were lifted from the old bridge in July, the existing abutments and piers have been demolished and cofferdams have been installed on the east and west banks to facilitate the safe construction of the box culverts.

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