Railway bridge being replaced in Whittlesey

Harts Bridge Whittlesey to be refurbished by National Rail

Harts Bridge Whittlesey to be refurbished by National Rail - Credit: Archant

A railway bridge in Whittlesey is being replaced during the August bank holiday weekend while the river remains open to traffic as part of Network Rail’s upgrade plan.

The bridge over the Briggate River is on the line between Ely and Peterborough which is used by up to five passenger trains an hour and twelve freight trains a day.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We are replacing this well-used bridge with a much stronger one, which will mean fewer delays for passengers.

“The new bridge has the added bonus of being more economical to maintain, which means we can spend money on improving other parts of Anglia’s network as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“The river will remain open while we work, but the railway will be closed between March and Peterborough.

“Passengers are advised to plan ahead of travelling this August bank holiday.”

Between Saturday August 26 and Monday August 28 the existing timber decked bridge will be replaced with a stronger steel decked bridge. Without the replacement, a speed restriction would need to be imposed to protect the bridge from heavy trains, resulting in delays to both passenger and freight services.

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The new bridge will last longer and is less expensive to maintain, say National Rail.

The work has been planned so that the river can be kept open during the replacement, with a team of lookouts being employed to stop work if river traffic needs to pass, without it impacting on the delivery of work.

As part of the work, the track will be replaced and the ballast, the stones that form the track bed, will be made deeper to improve drainage to increase reliability.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel as a rail replacement bus service will run from between March and Peterborough throughout the work. Details are available at www.nationalrail.co.uk

Network Rail owns, manages and develops 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and thousands of signals, level crossings and stations.

National Rail said they help people with more than 1.65 billion journeys every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost eight million lorry journeys.