New bridge lifted into place over rail lines
A delicate operation to lift a giant new steel footbridge into place over Metro and rail lines at Felling near Gateshead took place recently.
The three spans of the 48 metre footbridge – weighing 25 tonnes – were lifted into place by a giant crane. The three spans of the new bridge were lowered into place in an operation starting just after midnight on Sunday, January 27. The operation marks the most important day in a £1.6 million project by Nexus and Network Rail to replace the existing footbridge, which is 113 years old.
Ken Mackay, Director of Rail and Infrastructure for Nexus, said: “More than three quarters of a million people get on and off Metro at Felling every year and a new bridge is needed to keep the station open. “The improvements we are making will significantly improve access to the station and across the railway for people in Felling.”
The Victorian iron and timber footbridge above Felling Metro station will be replaced with a new steel structure complete with ramped access to the island platform and ramped access for the first time from Mulberry Street. Once completed the new footbridge at Felling is designed to last 120 years.
Dyan Crowther, Network Rail route director, added: "The partnership with Nexus is a welcome one and will bring real benefits for passengers who use the station. The new bridge will bring greater access and we are using the opportunity to improve the CCTV coverage at the station during the works."
Felling stands on what can claim to be the oldest commuter railway in Britain – opened in 1838 following the current alignment between Gateshead Stadium and Brockley Whins stations.
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