Today, the Great Central Railway PLC’s board has given approval for the replacement work on Bridge 326, which crosses the A60 next to the Brush Works in Loughborough.
A purchase order has been placed with VolkerLaser, who are the preferred contractors.
Fabrication of the two new steel and concrete U decks will start as soon as the final design work is completed.
Volker says it will be ready to demolish the old bridge and install the new twin decks from the 1st October.
The work will allow both the track to the Midland Mainline and the future line to GCR South to pass over the new bridge.
Two tracks over the bridge are essential to secure a connection with the mainline.
This project is the next major step of the reunification of the Great Central Railway in Loughborough with the heritage railway at Ruddington in Nottinghamshire.
Work to investigate a possible repair to the 120-year-old+ deck rather than replace proved too much as the original section had been lost to corrosion.
The bridge renewal will cost in excess of £1 million and is projected to be completed in October 2022.
Funding for the bridge replacement has come from supporters and the GCR’s charitable trust and means it is cost-neutral to the PLC.
Commenting on the announcement, the Railway’s Managing Director, Michael Gough said; “This project represents another major step in the drive for reunification of the two GCR sections and in the return of the currently-disused northern section of line back to traffic. This is a 120-year old structure which is certainly life-expired and cannot be repaired and we are pleased once again to be able to work with the team at Volker who have proven to be trusted partners on two previous bridge projects for the Railway that have both gone incredibly well.
With only 4.3 metres from the underside of the deck to the road, the old bridge has frequently “seen action” in terms of bridge strikes from high-sided vehicles trying to pass underneath and we are designing the new structure to achieve maximum additional headroom as well as building collision protection measures into the new structure.”