Work has started on a major project to complete a section of the Leighton Buzzard Eastern Link Road that forms part of a plan to provide more homes, retail facilities and a school to the east of Leighton Buzzard.
Funded by the Arnold White Group, the work will see the track diverted a short distance away from the original route alongside Vandyke Road to allow it to run under a bridge carrying the new link road.
The project is underway and is being completed by Fox (Owmby) Limited as well as being assisted by Alan Keef Ltd, and is due to be completed later in 2021.
Staff have provided upgraded access via a crossing to allow contractors to cross the line during the work period to ensure the safety of both workers and passengers on the railway.
The track is due to be connected once the railway has completed its main running season.
Leighton Buzzard Railway General Manager Joe Horsley said ‘The railway would like to place on record its thanks to all parties involved, including Arnold White Group, Fox (Owmby) Limited, Alan Keef Ltd, Stuart Michael Associates, Central Bedfordshire Council and The Railway Inspectorate, for working together with us to ensure the survival of the town’s major tourist attraction. This is an elegant and practical solution to a potentially awkward crossing of road and rail, and we look forward to our customers enjoying the results of this partnership next year.’
James Gudgin, Contracts Director at Fox (Owmby) said, ‘The diversion includes a 45m long rail underpass, built using 46 precast concrete arch sections and is constructed offline. This allows us to build the diverted section of track, and the bridge without impacting on the railway operations. Once connected in, works to build the link road over the current railway alignment will be completed.’
Kate Groves of developer Arnold White Group said, ‘As part of our works at Chamberlains Barn, it was clear that we needed to create an innovative solution which delivers the Leighton Buzzard Eastern Link Road while also keeping the Leighton Buzzard Railway running. We are delighted to help to secure the future of Leighton Buzzard Railway and ensure that this significant local tourist attraction can be enjoyed for many years to come.’
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