The last passenger train has rumbled across the old ‘Bridge 11’ and all eight concrete bridge components are now on site (see previous report) ready for the big lift starting Monday, 16th March.
In the meantime ..
Although it has been a few weeks since the concrete beams were moved on site from Ingrow, the civil engineers have not been idle.
Work in the last few weeks has included drilling replacement sleepers in Oakworth Yard ready to take track over the new bridge, laying a pathway through Ingrow Tunnel and, recently, building a walkway between the banks of the River Worth.
What happens now?
Work starts on Monday 16th March. The lifting out of the old bridge followed by the installation of the new, will take approximately 3 weeks (weather permitting). To give the reader an idea of the work involved, this is the approximate time scale of each stage of the process
- Monday 16th March – set up and remove existing track
- Tuesday – remove existing bridge deck
- Wednesday – remove existing set and start building new bridge bearings
- Thursday and Friday – continue new bridge bearings
- Weekend is contingency
- Monday 23rd March and Tuesday – lift in new bridge beams
- Wednesday – install steel reinforcement for stitch joint (to tie beams together)
- Thursday and Friday – pour concrete for stitch joint and end of deck
- Weekend is contingency.
- Monday 30th March – waterproof bridge
- Tuesday to Thursday – put track back
- Friday tidy up, ready for the first passenger train to cross the new bridge at 09.10 on Saturday 4th April
- Saturday pub! And well deserved too!
A tale of two cranes
Although the BLS steam crane will be doing some of the lifting, it may have occurred to the reader that once the bridge is severed, and previous photographs suggest that lifting for each side of the bridge has to be done on that side, how will they get the job done with a crane, only on one side.
The answer is simple and obvious – use two cranes, but, currently, we only have one rail borne crane capable of limiting such a load. The answer is a 100 ton road crane. The BLS crane will operate on the south side and a road crane will come through Ingrow Tunnel to be stationed on the north side.
Our dedicated Civil Engineers
Although the cranes will do all the lifting and outside contractors will be undertaking some of the work, this project is strenuous heavy work and much of it will be undertaken by a team of dedicated volunteers who turn up week in, week out for both major works such as this or routine(?) maintenance that goes on all year, come rain or shine. If you fancy joining the Civil Engineers for future projects, whether you can commit to regular visits or offer your help on an occasional basis, contact our Volunteer Co-ordinator by email email@example.com