Rebuilt bridge reopens as electrification of the railway in the north west progresses

Published on : Saturday, January 18, 2014

network-rail2-300x100The first bridge rebuilt between Manchester and Stalybridge as part of an upgrade which will provide a faster and more reliable railway in the north west has been officially opened.

The bridge on Henrietta Street in Ashton-under-Lyne was closed for four and a half months while Network Rail rebuilt it to make it high enough to accommodate overhead power lines underneath.

The work is part of the North West Electrification Programme which, in conjunction with TransPennine electrification, will see the railway between Manchester and York electrified by 2018, providing an improved service to millions of passengers every year.

Pupils from St. Christopher’s R.C Primary School have been learning about the project since last year and officially opened the bridge today (Friday) with the help of Network Rail and the contractor for the work, J Murphy & Sons. The school also designed safety posters to be used on site during the rebuild.

As part of the opening, a time capsule was built into the bridge including items such as biographies and pictures of the children’s lives in 2014, school newsletters and a school prospectus.

John Johnson, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “Electrification provides a greener, faster and more reliable railway, providing many benefits to passengers. This is a significant first step in the electrification of the railway between Manchester and Stalybridge, which will be part of a fully electrified line between Manchester and York by 2018.

“St Christopher’s primary school has learnt about the project, the rebuild and railway safety and it was a fitting end to the project for the school to reopen the bridge.”

Brendan McNeil, operations manager for J Murphy & Sons ,said: “It has been a pleasure to involve the school in our work and all of the pupils have produced great designs. We would like to thank the school for their hard work which is something they can all be proud of.”

Pupils Isobel Adams and Lily Clegg said: “It’s amazing to think that in 50 years’ time children from St. Christopher’s school will be able to open the capsule and see what life was like in 2014. We would like to thank Network Rail and Murphy’s for all their help and support during the project. It has made us think about becoming engineers in the future.”

Henrietta Street re-opened today (17 January) after being closed for nearly four and a half months. The bridge was completely rebuilt to give sufficient clearance for the overhead power lines to be installed which will be used to power electric trains on the line between Manchester and Stalybridge.

The line is due to be operate as an electric railway from December 2016 and will allow for faster, more frequent and reliable trains to run. A fully electrified route will be provided between Manchester, Leeds and York by December 2018.

Source:- Network Rail

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