Huge new railway bridge will be driven through Leamington this Easter

The work lead to full railway closure from late on Thursday April 14 to early Tuesday April 19

Final preparations are being made before a new railway bridge is driven through the streets of Leamington this Easter.

Network Rail is completely replacing Rugby Road railway bridge over the A445 as part of a £2.4m investment for passenger and freight services between Nuneaton and Leamington.

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During a full railway closure from late on Thursday April 14 to early Tuesday April 19, the existing 118-year-old bridge will be removed by a huge 96-wheeled transporter vehicle known as a SPMT (self-propelled modular transporter).

The large crane which will be used to lift new bridge onto huge transporter vehicle

Then the new structure, which has been built in recent weeks at the nearby Potterton Sports Fields, will be driven down the A445 and lifted into place before the railway is reinstated above ready for trains to start running again on Tuesday April 19.

The upgrade involves:

- The removal of the old bridge, weighing 372 tonnes.

- Installation of the new 60-tonne bridge.

The new Rugby Road railway bridge being prebuilt at Potterton Sports fields in Leamington

- 800 tonnes of railway foundation stone (ballast) being laid on the new bridge.

- Tracks being reinstated over the new stone so trains can resume running.

Paul Randall, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “Replacing Rugby Road railway bridge is a complex engineering project and I’d like to thank residents and businesses in advance of this major work.

“There will be some disruption to rail and road travel during the £2.4m upgrade. That’s why we’re advising passengers to travel either side of the bank holiday weekend and to check National Rail Enquiries to plan their journeys in advance.”

How it might look - this is Warrington railway bridge being driven down a street in Warrington.

The railway between Nuneaton and Leamington will be closed from Friday April 15 to Monday April 18, with replacement bus services in operation.

People are being advised to travel either side of the bank holiday on Thursday April 14 and Tuesday April 19 and to plan ahead at www.nationalrail.co.uk

Jonny Wiseman, customer experience director for West Midlands Railway, said: “This important work will mean safer journeys for passengers and remove the need for the restrictive speed limits which currently impact services.

“I would like to thank our customers for their patience while this major piece of engineering is carried out. Replacement buses will be in operation and I urge people to check their journeys before setting out.”

The new bridge deck ahead of installation in Leamington

John Robson, CrossCountry regional director for West Midlands and the North West, said: “Investment in infrastructure such as this is really exciting as it helps to improve passengers’ journeys. I’d like to thank our customers for their support and patience and advise people to check their journeys before travelling.”

Dozens of local people attended a public information event about the project in March.

There they learned how a speed limit of 20mph is currently in place for trains because of the existing bridge's condition.

Dozens of local people attended a public information event about the project in March.

There they learned how a speed limit of 20mph is currently in place for trains because of the existing bridge's condition.