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Physical preparations to build a brand new bridge which will carry the Great Central Railway over over the Midland Mainline at Loughborough have begun.


Contractors appointed by Network Rail moved onto site for three days between January 7th and 9th to carry out investigation works. Boreholes are being drilled at each end of the site to establish the ground conditions for the abutments which will support the bridge decks. In turn this will help the design team finalise their plans and submit a planning application.


Alan Kemp of the Great Central Railway Nottingham said, "After years of waiting, it is wonderful to see physical works begin. The boreholes are a vital part of the design process and give us all confidence the project is moving ahead. It will still be some time before a bridge appears, but it is coming!"

Contractors Prepare To Take A Ground Sample Where The Southern Bridge Abutment Will Be Built (c ) GCR 7th Jan 2014
 Contractors Work Close To Where The North Bridge Abutment Will Be Built While A Train For London Passes In The Background (c ) GCR 7th Jan 2014


The bridge is a key link in a chain of infrastructure which will ultimately link the Great Central North and South creating an eighteen mile heritage railway across Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire.


The Great Central Railway has committed to raise one million pounds to fund the new bridge which will be built by Network Rail.


The appeal has now reached the third of a million pound mark, with donors all over the country contributing. Recently the total was boosted by two grants, one from the Edith Murphy Foundation and the other from the 9F locomotive charitable trust.


Bill Ford of the Great Central Railway said "We are very grateful to everyone who has given so generously. We are moving ahead and these ground works are the proof."


Network Rail have undertaken other preparation for the new bridge including investigating the ground where the new bridge's central supporting pillar will stand - between the fast and slow rail lines, just south of Loughborough Midland station.


A planning application is expected to be submitted within the next two months, with the main construction work taking place around 12 months from now. It should be complete by the middle of 2015.


A Network Rail spokesman said "Trial holes and boring form a key part of the design process for the project. Because we are aiming to use the existing bridge foundations, we are eagerly awaiting the results of the ground investigations as this will allow us to progress the design and keep the build programme on track. In order to build upwards we have to go below first!"


 Contractors working close to the north end of the new bridge. The embankment which will carry the railway is behind them and to the right is the Midland Main Line which the new bridge will cross (c) GCR 7th Jan 2014

To donate the bridge appeal, head to the GCR website at www.gcrailway.co.uk or click on the image below
then click on the 'Bridge to the Future' logo.


GCR_Logo -300px


Published: 14 August 2020 20:12

Author: Phil Stanway