Railway Bridge Works at Poulton

Railway Bridge Works at Poulton

Railway Bridge Works at Poulton were carried out in 2012/13.

Railway Bridge Works at Poulton – Published March 2013

In order to electrify the line between Preston and Blackpool North, a number of bridges had to be reconstructed including Tithebarn Street. This work is needed to achieve sufficient clearance between the bridge and the track for overhead line equipment.

Network Rail Structure Gauging Train

Reader Barrie C. Woods got in touch after the last photos of the bridge installation works, to ask if any readers had spotted the rarley seen Gauging Train at Blackpool station. Barrie writes: “Some local people may have been wondering what the strange yellow train is doing stabled in Blackpool North Station over the past few days, it is in fact the Network Rail Structure Gauging Train.

Network Rail Gauging Train
General view of the Gauging train with the station behind and the famous Blackpool Tower just visible through the incessant rain.

Network Rail Gauging Train
1960s built Brush type 2, 31285, formerly D5817 at the head of the train which is stabled at Platform 8, Blackpool North during the day, awaiting its nocturnal duties after the normal service trains have finished.

Prior to the electrification, along the route to Preston, 11 bridges are being replaced, two in Poulton-le-Fylde. One is at Tithebarn Street which was featured in the last bulletin, the other is the Occupation bridge from Oldfield Carr Lane to the east of the village. One other along the line is being removed completely and the track is being lowered under three further structures.

The reason behind this is that additional clearance is required under bridges to accommodate the 25KV electric overhead catenary. In consequence the rarely seen Network Rail Structure Gauging Train has been despatched to the area.

Network Rail Gauging Train
Close up of Optical car DC460000, which uses Laser Technology to gauge structures as the train passes through them.

The train, which is being despatched along the line after normal services have ceased, measures with lasers the area under and between any structure to to ensure there is sufficient space for the new trains to pass under.

Installation of Bridge Supports – 2 March 2013

Thanks to Mel Jones, of Mel Jones Photography Ltd, for these great shots taken during the evening of 2 March as the steels for the bridge were carefully lowered into place.

Construction of Railway Bridge at Tithebarn Street, Poulton

Construction of Railway Bridge at Tithebarn Street, Poulton

Construction of Railway Bridge at Tithebarn Street, Poulton

Construction of Railway Bridge at Tithebarn Street, Poulton

Construction of Railway Bridge at Tithebarn Street, Poulton

Construction of Railway Bridge at Tithebarn Street, Poulton

What Work Took Place?

At Tithebarn Street the  bridge deck was rebuilt and this required the road to be closed between 7th January 2013 – 22nd May 2013 for the following work:

• To divert/suspend the utility services which sit in the bridge deck such as gas/water pipes. During this time the following work will take place: electricity cables and phone lines.

• Once services are diverted, work will commence to remove the existing road surface, remove the old bridge deck and parapets, install new bridge beams/deck/parapets, reinstate utility services into the new bridge deck and complete all road alignment, gradient, surface and containment works.

• Our core work to remove the old bridge deck and install the new beams will take place on the weekends of 2nd/3rd March and 9th/10th March during which time 24hr working will be used and train services will not be in operation.

• Prior to the road being closed we will construct a temporary footbridge for pedestrians which will be open throughout our work. For safety reasons however, the footbridge will have restricted access on the weekends in March during core work.

 

More about Electrification

As part of the works, it was necessary to modify a number of structures to provide clearance for the overhead line equipment, and the railway bridge on Tithebarn Street at Poulton is one of the areas where work will  be carried out. Already structurally weak, the bridge was demolished and rebuilt to allow for the overhead power lines which are required to electrify the line.

Electrification is critical in delivering faster, greener, quieter and more reliable journeys for thousands of passengers as well as improving links between our towns and cities.

Some of the Benefits of Electrification

More seats and improved reliability
Electric trains have 20% more seats than diesel trains
They are lighter and cause less damage to the track for a more reliable railway
They can get up to speed quicker and have superior braking systems, making journeys quicker, especially in urban areas where there are frequent station stops

Better for the environment:
Electric trains emit around 20-35% less carbon per passenger than diesel trains
There are zero emissions at the point of use, helping improve air quality in pollution ‘hot spots’ such as city centres and main line stations
The trains are also quieter when waiting at stations

 

Tithebarn Street Railway Bridge, Poulton
Photos taken Thursday 17 January 2013

Tithebarn Street Railway Bridge, Poulton

Tithebarn Street Railway Bridge, Poulton

Find out More

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