AmcoGiffen team lifts 80-tonne railway bridge by hand: Video

Grant Prior 2 years ago
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An 80-tonne railway bridge in Wales has been lifted by hand from a river flood zone.

Black Bridge, on the Cambrian Line, near Machynlleth, now stands one metre taller than before after Network Rail engineers and contractors AmcoGiffen worked day and night to lift it.

Engineers opted to lift the 80-tonne bridge manually, rather than using hydraulics, to ensure there was no twisting or buckling of the structure.

Eight, 20 tonne chains were used in total and for every 10 metres of chain pulled, the bridge was raised just 10mm.

This resulted in more than 12,800 metres (12.8km) of chain being pulled through the lifting blocks for this challenging lift, which took a huge amount of strength from the teams on the ground.

A total of 360 engineers clocked up more than 32,000 hours to deliver this innovative project in just six weeks with the line reopening this morning following 30 flood closures in the last decade.

 

Richard Compton, project manager for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “Black Bridge has repeatedly flooded over the years during periods of heavy rainfall, causing regular closures and long delays for passengers.

“We experienced this flooding first-hand during our work, which shows exactly why raising the bridge is so important. Improving the resilience of Black Bridge means we can continue to provide a safe and reliable railway for passengers for many years to come.”

Andy Crowley, Operations Director Wales and Western at AmcoGiffen, commented: “With nine months from concept to completion, we knew from the outset that it was going to be challenging to deliver this scheme in such a short timescale. We also understood the necessity behind the risk being taken.

“Collaboration was crucial from the start and when severe weather hit the early days of the project, we all worked together to recoup the lost time and maintain our schedule.

“It’s important to acknowledge the true team spirit that has been part of this intense scheme from start to finish and we’re delighted to have played our part.”

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