Network Rail has successfully completed work on a £2.1m project to repair and strengthen Aire Bridge in North Yorkshire.
The project is expected to improve reliability for the 100 freight services transporting materials to and from Drax Power Station on average each week.
Over the 10-day blockade (Friday 27 August – Monday 6 September), Network Rail staff removed more than 100m of track so that a new waterproofing and drainage system - with a reinforced concrete slab - could be installed.
New rail sleepers and ballast were then re-laid
Work was also carried out to strengthen the steel structure, which should reduce the amount of maintenance work needed in the future.
Rainwater can now be drained more effectively because of the repairs.
This, in turn, will reduce the likelihood of future structural damage and allow freight trains to transport biomass to and from Drax Power Station more reliably.
Matt Rice, Route Director for Network Rail’s North & East Route, said: “I’d like to say a huge thank you to local residents and our colleagues at Drax Power Station for their patience and collaboration while we completed these essential repairs.
“By strengthening the bridge, we’re able to reduce the number of delays caused by future maintenance work and therefore deliver an improved service for our freight customers and the communities they serve.”
Aire Bridge is a 65m long three-span underbridge carrying the twin-ballasted, non-electrified tracks over the River Aire to the power station, which supplies around 12% of the UK’s renewable electricity.