Reading bridge moved into position
A new station bridge has been moved into position at Reading this weekend, leaving the project a year ahead of its original schedule.
The first part of the bridge was moved into place over two nights by Network Rail, using precision engineering techniques to position the 728-tonne structure to within a 20mm tolerance.
The bridge will allow quick access to platforms via the banks of new lifts and escalators.
Network Rail project director, Bill Henry, said: “The first part of the new bridge makes a dramatic difference toReading’s skyline and gives passengers a glimpse of how the new station will look when the first phase of the development is opened in May 2013.
“The transformation of the station is just one aspect of the multimillion pound project which we continue deliver on time and on budget. This investment inReadingwill unblock the bottleneck on the railway, improve commuters’ journeys and provide a station fit for future – as passenger numbers inReadingare set to double by 2030.
“By 2015 we will have built a new train care depot, constructed a viaduct to provide more room for trains, installed new signalling to improve reliability and put in place the structures that will carry over-head electrical lines, allowing new state-of-the-art electric trains to run.”
Brian Fisher, from principal contractor Costain, said: “We’re very proud of what we have achieved so far on this flagship project. Everything we deliver has to be done around an operational railway which obviously brings its own demands. Our work is proceeding steadily to make ensure the project continues to run like clock-work.”
Mark Hopwood, managing director of First Great Western, said: “We’ve worked hard with Network Rail to minimise disruption to our customers throughout this project, and they should be commended for completing this challenging piece of engineering work without impacting our services.”
Later this year the second and third pieces will be built on site and joined together, with completion on target for 2015.
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