Livingston bridge re-opens cleared for electrification

Published on : Thursday, July 14, 2016

1Brucefield Park West rail bridge in Livingston re-opened today following Network Rail works to upgrade the structure in preparation for the future electrification of the railway.The circa £1.5 million investment in the Livingston bridge has been delivered over a period of seven months and is the tenth completed structure out of the 19 that will be reconstructed ahead of the electrification of the line in 2019.

Like other similar bridge reconstructions it required the diversion of a range of utilities which used the 16m span bridge to connect over the railway before the bridge was demolished and rebuilt higher above the rails to ensure the safe clearance of the overhead electrification cables.

The reconstruction involved 33 lifts using a 750 tonne crane the heaviest of which was the 46.5 tonne parapet units and it also included the positioning of the temporary structure which carried the diverted utilities.  The project also saw the excavation of 9000 tonnes of material and the use of 600 tonnes of concrete to construct the new bridge.

A shallower but stronger bridge deck has been put in place to avoid impacting on the height of the carriageway with higher parapets (side walls) being installed to comply with safety legislation on structures over an electrified railway.

The bridge has been reconstructed as part of the Shotts Line electrification. The project forms part of Network Rail’s nationwide Railway Upgrade Plan and helps deliver the Scottish Government’s rolling programme to electrify central Scotland’s rail network.

Michelle McCaig, Network Rail project manager, said:

“This was a challenging and complex piece of work being delivered over a busy working line, so credit is due to the Network Rail team and contractors, BAM Nuttal, who have delivered this work.

“We are conscious of the inconvenience that this work has caused to the local community and I’d like to thank residents and those who work in this area of Livingston for their patience while we delivered this important railway investment.

“We would also like to thank West Lothian Council, the road’s authority in the area, for their support and cooperation as we deliver the electrification project. Their local knowledge and professional approach has been invaluable in minimising the disruption for local communities during this project.”

The electrification of the Shotts Line is part of a rolling programme of electrification across the central belt – reducing journey times and boosting capacity on routes including the Edinburgh-Glasgow Queen Street (via Falkirk High) line and previously the completion of the link and electrification of the line between Airdrie and Bathgate.


Source:-Network Rail

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