Network Rail has announced that work to replace sleepers on the Tay bridge is now underway in Scotland.
The bridge was opened in 1887 and is more than three kilometres in length.
The project will be taking place until September 2020, and this will extend the life of the track. The work is being delivered in a way that will minimise the disruptions on the line for passengers.
A third of the bridge’s sleepers, including base-plates and Pandrol clips are being renewed. The ballast is also being replaced, and all will help the life span of the track.
It will cost more than £500,000 to improve the line to make the line more reliable and safer for the passengers.
Some of the sleepers that are being replaced date back to the 1960s and are coming to the end of their natural life. This is because of the impact of the salty air in this exposed coastal location.
Around 60 tonnes of sleepers are being installed, and an equivalent amount of spoil material will be removed from the bridge.
All the work that is taking place will avoid disruption on the East coast mainline.
Grant Ritchie, Network Rail’s works delivery manager delivering the Tay Bridge re-sleepering project said, “We work every night to keep the railway open and running efficiently for key workers and essential journeys. Projects like this will benefit even more passengers when lock-down is lifted and we begin to move towards a new kind of normal. Any project on an historic and iconic structure like the Tay Bridge is always a pleasure but it presents its own problems due to its unique design and location. Being open to the elements over the Firth of Tay is unpredictable in itself even when the work is during the summer months. Working in a confined location, such as on a bridge, also presents a logistical challenge in normal times but we now have the additional element of ensuring physical distancing, where possible. To do this we are following best advice, using additional protective equipment and learning new ways of working that will help keep everyone safe and let us get the job done.”
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