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Published on : Saturday, April 9, 2016
A new and improved bridge over the railway on Station Road, Shrivenham, was opened today after Network Rail’s work to construct the bridge as part its Great Western Electrification Programme was completed on time.
The building of the bridge is an essential part of the company’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan to provide a bigger, better, more reliable railway for passengers. Compared to the old bridge, the new structure is higher creating the additional space needed for the overhead lines that will power the new fleet of longer, faster, quieter and greener electric trains to run underneath.
In completing this essential upgrade, the team worked closely with Oxfordshire County Council to ensure the new bridge also has a straighter alignment, improving visibility and therefore the safety of its users.
To minimise disruption for residents while this work took place, Network Rail’s ‘orange army’ built the new bridge alongside the existing bridge, which remained open for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians to use throughout the construction.
Robbie Burns, Network Rail’s regional director of infrastructure projects, said: “While every effort was made to minimise disruption for residents and local businesses, I would like to thank them for their patience and understanding while we completed the building of the new bridge.
“The team worked hard to ensure the construction was completed in as short a timeframe as possible and that it was finished on time. Now the new bridge has opened, residents and businesses in Shrivenham are a step closer to the benefits that electrifying the railway and running new electric trains will bring.
“These benefits include faster trains with more seats and more leg room, and less noise and cleaner air for those who live close to the railway. Faster journeys and the ability to move more people by train will also help to promote economic growth in the south west.”
Shrivenham resident, Alec Chambers, who was four when the original bridge was constructed, said: “I was really excited to be part of the opening and to be the first person to drive over the new bridge.
“I remember seeing the old bridge put in, I’m sure there aren’t too many people to have witnessed the building of these two bridges. I’m really looking forward to electrification of the Great Western Main Line and to enjoying the benefits of faster, quieter trains.”