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Progress is being made on the first direct rail link between Oxford, Bedford, Milton Keynes and Aylesbury in 50 years. Huge sections of a concrete railway flyover at Bletchley is being lifted out by some of the largest cranes in Europe to build the new railway line.
In the early 1960s ‘Bletchley flyover’ was built to allow trains to go from West to East to cross over at the West Coast mainline.
Credit: Network Rail
However, 14 flyovers spans now need to be dismantled to be rebuilt to modern standards for the East-West Rail project.
Preparation for the removal of lineside equipment and overhead electric lines has been going on for the past year, with a lot more work being placed at Easter to drill out the concrete flyover’s spans already there.
The first span was number 17, which weighed at 295 tonnes and was split in two and was removed on the 22nd of April 2020, and it was dismantled without closing the railway.
The West Coast Main Line was closed on the 2nd-3rd May and will need to be closed on the 8th-10th May and 23rd-25th May so the rest of the flyover can be removed.
Tim Shoveller, managing director for Network Rail’s North West and Central region, said “This is a major milestone for East West Rail – a new railway which will transform connectivity and journey times across the heart of the country. It promises to provide a greener, low carbon transport system which will bring huge benefits to passengers and businesses – driving economic growth and creating opportunities for housing and new jobs.”
Jeff Booth, project leader for 2C, said “My thanks to the team and everyone involved in the planning and execution of this hugely significant lift for the project. As the first span to be removed, the first significant lift we have done, and as a precursor to the removal of Span 19 in a few weeks’ time, the pressure was on, but we were able to completely remove the span from the structure safely and successfully as per our plan.”
This article first appeared on www.railadvent.co.uk
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