The unique Keadby Canal Bridge in North Lincolnshire will benefit from improved reliability as Network Rail carry out crucial repair work.
A structural fault was located on the bridge earlier this month and the signaller was unable to solve it, triggering disruption for passengers travelling on the busy line between Doncaster and Scunthorpe.
Essential work is now underway to ensure the bridge can continue to operate reliably for the foreseeable future.
Kathryn O’Brien, Customer Experience Director for TransPennine Express, commented “we are pleased to see this work is happening with such a key part of infrastructure in the Keadby Canal Bridge, so that our customers travelling on our South route can have a more reliable journey."
She added, "while our services won’t be impacted by these works, we would still advise them to check before they travel.”
Engineers are carrying out a full inspection of the bridge and will install a live monitoring system to obtain further information on the issue. This will allow them to put together detailed designs for long-term repairs, including work to realign some of the equipment.
Matt Rice, North and East Route Director for Network Rail, said “Keadby Canal Bridge is a fascinating, one-of-a-kind piece of engineering, but that means when something goes wrong, it can take a little longer to fix.”
The sophisticated bridge - Vazon railway bridge - slides open, allowing boats travelling on the Stainforth and Keadby canals to pass through and then slides back across so that train services can continue.
When the bridge is open for water traffic, the public can still use the level crossing to safely cross the railway.
Teams will need to limit the use of the bridge in order for work to be carried out safely, so Network Rail has planned the work with the Canal and River Trust to minimise as much disruption as possible for canal users and allow train services to continue.
The bridge will remain closed to canal traffic and will open for a short period on alternate days. This work will not impact train services and the level crossing will remain open for locals.
Sean McGinley, Regional Director for Canal & River Trust, said “the Vazon Railway Bridge is a unique feature on this canal and part of the rich heritage of the area. We are looking forward to seeing it in full working order once again.”