Network Rail has started key work on a £2.1 million project to repair Aire Bridge in North Yorkshire.
The track over the bridge must be replaced as it is used solely for freight services travelling to and from Drax Power Station, which supplies around 11% of the UK’s renewable electricity.
Engineers will remove the existing track and replace it with new rails, sleepers and ballast. Structural repairs will also be done and a waterproofing layer will be added to lower the amount of maintenance work required in the future.
The bridge will close every Saturday night between Sunday 11 July and Sunday 17 October to ensure work is carried out safely, and most of the work will take place during a nine-day closure from Friday 27 August to Sunday 5 September.
Richard Owens, Infrastructure Director for Network Rail’s North and East route, said “this essential repair work will boost reliability along this vital freight route so that companies that rely on freight, such as Drax, can continue to supply their customers across the UK.
He added, “I know that closures are not ideal, so I’m glad that we’ve been able to bring forward a planned track renewal to within this closure to minimise disruption to the local community and freight operators.”
During the nine-day closure, a section of track at Hensall will be renovated, improving reliability along the line. This will guarantee the closure is being fully utilised, to minimise disruption to lineside neighbours, freight operating companies and the communities that they serve.
Mark Gibbens, Head of Logistics at Drax, said: “This work is vital to safeguard the future of this important infrastructure. Network Rail have worked closely with Drax to minimise the disruption this work will have on the power station and we don’t anticipate any unplanned disruption to supplies.”