Ravenscraig Bridge move project, via Network Rail

Ravenscraig bridge lift to make European history

Scotland’s Railway is bolstering for an upcoming £16.9m project that will deliver the 10-day installation of a 5000-tonne bridge on the West Coast Main Line (WCML), at Ravenscraig in North Lanarkshire.

This landmark scheme is being implemented via an agreement between North Lanarkshire Council and Network Rail, with ambitions to construct a new road under the railway line for the regeneration of the former steelworks site.

Throughout the previous 10-month period, Network Rail and STORY Contracting engineers have been casting the bridge at Network Rail’s compound next to the WCML, now preparing to move it into position from 1st until the 10th April.

This upcoming phase of the project will see the excavation of approximately 36,000 tonnes of material from the railway embankment and the removal of track and overhead line equipment.

Representing a major feat of engineering innovation, the bridge and its support structure will be driven into position via remote-controlled vehicles called self-propelled modular transporters (SPMTs). Due to the sheer size and scale of the structure, totalling around 6,000 tonnes, it is believed that this is the single largest move of its kind in Europe.

Jeremy Spence, Senior Programme Manager, Network Rail said:

“This project represents more than £16 million worth of investment in the local area from North Lanarkshire Council and Glasgow City Region City Deal.

“Given the sheer size and scale of the bridge, it also represents a significant piece of engineering work, made possible by successes in innovation and collaboration with our major contracting partner, STORY.

“The upcoming intense period of activity marks a major milestone in this huge construction project, with Network Rail, Story and North Lanarkshire Council working closely over the last year to get it to this point.

“Once our work is complete, it will allow the council to continue the regeneration of the area that will bring vacant and derelict land back into use while helping to create jobs and connecting people and businesses across the whole region.

“We would like to thank passengers and our lineside neighbours for their patience and understanding while we carry out this vital work.”

Following the successful installation, the track and overhead line equipment will be reinstated prior to a series of signalling work taking place and the eventual reopening of the line. The council will then progress with the construction of a new dual carriageway with pedestrian and cycle paths from Airbles Road/Windmillhill Street to Robberhall Road.

This project is running concurrently with the £160m investment at Carstairs on the WCML to reduce disruption for customers.

Councillor Paul Kelly, Depute Leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said:

“Completion of the bridge is a vital step in constructing the new road and opening up Ravenscraig for investment and regeneration for many years to come,

“With investment from Glasgow City Region City Deal and the council, the overall £127.2 million Ravenscraig Access Infrastructure project will improve local access to Ravenscraig for housing, leisure and business as well as creating improved connections north to the M8 and south through Motherwell and to the M74.”

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