A new flyover, which will be at the centre of the East West Rail project to connect communities between Oxford, Bedford and Cambridge with a direct rail service, has seen significant progress made.
During a full railway closure in early May, Network Rail engineers lifted 103 precast concrete beams into place over the West Coast Main Line.
Network Rail has released a timelapse video of the work:
The team used two 600-tonne crawler cranes to lift the 40-tonne beams into place. Each lift took around 25-30 minutes to complete.
Alongside the lifting of the precast beams into place, engineers also dismantled the existing 25,000-volt overhead electric cables, before reinstating them beneath the new Bletchley flyover.
Work on the flyover’s support structure, built using 138 precast concrete shell abutments, was completed ahead of the early May bank holiday.
The technique allowed most of the new structure to be constructed without disruption passenger services running on the railway.
Mark Cuzner, East West Rail Alliance Director, said: “Bridging the gap over the West Coast main line for East West Rail has been a critical milestone for the project.
“It is the culmination of an enormous amount of collaborative effort by the team who have coupled good engineering with innovative thinking to overcome the many challenges posed by this complex piece of work undertaken within the railway corridor.”
“With the beam installation complete, our focus now switches to reconstructing the section of the flyover which will span Buckingham Road, while also completing the new Bletchley High Level Station which will provide two new platforms to connect East West Rail to the existing Bletchley Station.”