New railway bridge takes shape

A NEW £9 million railway bridge spanning 100 metres across the River Ouse at Ely could be open to passenger and freight services before Christmas. But Network Rail has warned that adverse weather conditions this autumn could cause set backs. The company h

A NEW £9 million railway bridge spanning 100 metres across the River Ouse at Ely could be open to passenger and freight services before Christmas.

But Network Rail has warned that adverse weather conditions this autumn could cause set backs.

The company has warned that high winds could prevent the use of cranes lifting the new steel deck for the bridge.

It is being rebuilt after a freight train derailed in June, damaging the bridge and leaving wagons hanging over the river.

Network Rail was forced to build a new mile-long roadway across marshland to carry heavy lifting gear to remove the train.

Now Kier Rail, which is carrying out the work on behalf of Network Rail, has begun preparation works ahead of receiving final approval for a new single structure steel decked river span bridge.

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The new bridge will continue to carry a single railway line across the river, but will have the capacity to carry two lines.

Final approval for the bridge is expected to be given in the next few weeks.

Simon Brazier, Network Rail's civil engineering programme manager, said: "We're extremely pleased to be starting the construction phase of this project. There were a number of factors, including the marshy fens location and the extent of the damage, which gave us some tricky problems in getting started on reconstruction, but I'm confident that we're now in the home stretch and look forward to restoring services for passengers as soon as possible.