Big lift for old rail bridge

BOOTLE, UK: February 2019. Network Rail engineers have replaced an ageing railway bridge in Bootle, Merseyside by using a 1,000-tonne crane from UK hire company Ainscough.

The bridge, which crosses the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, was renewed this month as part of Britain’s Great North Rail Project that will keep the bridge safe for the next 100 years.

Network Rail scheme project manager Chris Atkins said: “It took two small cranes to build the whopping 1,000-tonne crane we used to lift the railway bridge. This allowed us to completely renew the Leeds & Liverpool Canal bridge in just five days. Working with Merseyrail, we rescheduled this work to fit in with the closure of the Southport line while platforms were being upgraded.

“Both pieces of work are essential. One to prepare the Merseyrail network for the arrival of new, state-of-the-art trains. The other to ensure the railway bridge that supports the railway in Bootle is kept safe for the next 100 years,” he added.

Network Rail operates and develops Britain’s railway infrastructure: 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts plus thousands of signals, road crossings and stations. The national entity also operates 20 of the UK’s largest stations, while the remaining 2,500-plus are run by the country’s train operating companies to support 4.8 million journeys and over 600 freight trains.

Pictured: the old bridge still attached to the crane next to its prefabricated replacement.