It’s a new year and the sun is shining, so all must be well and I have some good news to share with you. It is inevitable that this diary is almost all about bridge 27, but all the other works on the railway will be shown next time.

You may remember that last time in December I showed work done on the track on the Siding span of bridge 27 at Goathland. Work really started in earnest after the end of passenger train working. Craig and his S&T volunteers removed much of the point rodding and signal wires between the signal box and to the south of bridge 26 the arch bridge carrying the road over the railway. The tracks over bridge 27 and the Up line up to the crossover were also removed by Martyn and his P Way gang.

Cleveland Bridge were then able to dig up the very dirty ballast and part load to rail wagons for disposal to a licenced tip via New Bridge.

The spoil was taken to the site access alongside the road as seen in the photo above, where you can see the steel plates protecting the remaining track. When the bridge deck plates were exposed to enable them to be cut out Mark, Mike and Roger could then assess the condition of the remaining parts as seen, with Roger giving it a standard, calibrated engineering kick!

When the decks were removed the two main girders could be lifted out by the two Kirov cranes.

We have a scaffold in and over the river which not only provides a safe working area it also prevents any debris falling into the river. Main girder “B”, which remains, was carefully checked with Roger spending much time under it with Cleveland Bridge expert welders to determine the extent of the corrosion and how to strengthen it. Additional steel plates will have to be welded on to enable its limited use in the future.

In the view above the face that will be next to the new steelwork is being painted – it may look it but it isn’t the traditional red lead paint! It is modern “red lead” but without the lead.

In the above photo, our really helpful Station Master John Bruce is seen holding up the girder. Actually he was keeping an eye on the shunting movements. After the abutments had been reduced in level it was time to lay in the precast concrete impost units and then the main girders. It is perhaps worth noting that modern bridges have bearings rather than the flat steel plates laid on sheet lead as used in the past. A skew in a bridge is always a design issue and the clever way that Cass Hayward have designed our new bridge is to have the steel beam supporting the trimmed or short cross girders under the main girders rather than bolted to their webs.

The downside is that we have had to remove an extra 410mm of abutment but the result is well worth it. The views above shows the south impost in place and the north one. You can also see where the track formation has slipped due to a period of very heavy rain which caused some concerns for Volker positioning their cranes as the lifts were getting close to the limit even for big Kirov’s.

The above photo shows Martyn driving the 08 bringing down the two main girders past the site accommodation on the 20th January with the next two images showing the two Kirov’s lifting in the first main girder which is next to the Siding main girder.

The following day it was the turn of the trimmed cross girders to be fitted as seen below which also shows the space between the two girders.

This will enable the point rodding to be secured on the bridge with a new walkway for our signalmen to safely cross when handing out tokens. Then the Up side new main girder was lifted into place as seen below with Kevin, the Volker Crane Controller, looking on in the left of the picture.

In the second image a trimmed cross girder is seen bolted to the support beam and only loosely bolted to the far main girder. Now that all the cross girders are in place they are permanently bolted to the new main girder next to the siding span but only loosely with long bolts to the Up side one. This will then be jacked across to its final permanent position when the bolts will be replaced with permanent ones.

The big Kirov will be leaving the NYMR on the 27th January as planned, but work will continue with concreting the new deck, waterproofing, putting in the new concrete ballast walls, the track and the signalling equipment. The smaller Kirov will be working at the bridge before going to Pickering to lift in the new bridge 8 in March.

Lots more things to tell you about, so try to contain your excitement until next time. With many thanks to everybody who has worked on this bridge as a very good and combined team. It has been a pleasure to watch it! 

More next time including some of the other things people are doing on our super railway.

Nigel Trotter,
NYMR Civil Engineer

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