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Contractors World - UK Developments Supplement
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construction, demolition, mining and quarrying industries.

Contractors World 2010 - UK Developments Special Supplement No 3
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new bridge section lifted into position at Blackfriars railway stationNew bridge section slid into position

The successful installation of a 350-tonne, 22 m, concrete and steel section of bridge on the redevelopment at the end of last year, marking significant milestone in Network Rail’s $8 billion Thameslink programme.

Taking 101 hours to complete by a team of 50, the precision engineering activity was meticulously planned.

The main work at Blackfriars saw the existing, old bridge section carefully deconstructed and removed from its position between platform four and five at the north of the station by an 800 t mobile crane. Two hydraulic rams then slid into place the new section of bridge from the east side site compound.

Before the bridge slide could take place, Network Rail engineers needed to conduct important enabling work. This involved disconnecting the signalling, temporarily shifting communications cables running under the rail bridge from the west to the east, and removing track and ballast. All these elements were then reinstated and reconnected when the bridge slide was completed.

The new section of bridge was specially designed and built on 6 m high trestles towers in a site compound to the east of the site, to keep the station open for as long as possible and to minimise impact on passengers. The strengthened bridge enabled Network Rail to move the tracks from the west to the east side of the station for its future and revised track alignment, providing quicker and smoother journeys for passengers when the work in that area is completed and brought into use in late 2010.

Further improvements at Blackfriars, as part of the Thameslink programme, will also improve services for passengers by enabling significantly more passengers to travel to and through the capital by late 2011.

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