New Over/Under Bridges on Mothballed Lines

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
18 May 2012
Messages
386
Something that's cropped up sporadically is new bridges build at 3rd party expense to safeguard mothballed lines. Typically this occurs when a new road is built and Network Rail (Railtrack) exercises it's right to safeguard it's network - aside from whether a train will ever run along a given line. For the avoidance of doubt, this doesn't include recons by Network Rail.

So, it would be interesting to see examples from around the country that people are aware of. The following would be interesting details, where available:

  1. ELR/route and date the line was mothballed
  2. 3rd party development that created the need for a bridge
  3. knowledge of any re-opening proposals for the line


A few 'starters for ten' are:

Lichfield to Walsall. Closed in 1984. Housing development/bypass road penetrated the mothballed line, so requiring an underbridge.
https://goo.gl/maps/jZEUYDzKapm

Lichfield to Walsall. CLosed in 1984. M6 Toll penestrated the mothballed line, so requiring an underbridge. https://goo.gl/maps/eLKkuFVa7Az

Dudley to Pleck Junction. Closed 1993. Speculative light industrial development access road penestrated the mothballed line, so requiring an underbridge. https://goo.gl/maps/ymS3veM6pK62
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

Western Lord

Member
Joined
17 Mar 2014
Messages
571
The Broadway by-pass crosses the trackbed of the Broadway to Honeybourne line on a overbridge to allow future extension of the Gloucester-Warwickshire railway.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
11,191
Brownhills to Walsall is closed, Lichfield to Brownhills isnt, it is still in the sectional appendix.
 

Joseph_Locke

Established Member
Joined
14 Apr 2012
Messages
1,878
Location
Within earshot of trains passing the one and half
The is a world of difference between OOU (which just means no trains, possibly no signals and occasionally no track) and closed (which means that the rights established under the route's enabling Act have been formally extinguished).

In the former case, if there are no intermediate passenger stations or terminals / depots with a formal lease or connection agreement then NR is free to do what it will as it has no need to keep the line "open". The line from March to Wisbech is an example of this.

In the latter case, the world and their dog has a right to object to the closure, and the process can be extremely convoluted - have a look here.

It can be soooo drawn out that some things are put into long-term deep freeze to avoid actually closing them - Norton Bridge Station is technically (but not really practically) still open.

If there is still a live Act then it is likely that this will contain provisions to cover the eventuality of a third party requiring a new bridge; typically, they can build it themselves subject to approval or they can pay the railway infrastructure owner to do it for them, but the third party often remains liable for maintenance, renewal, widening and demolition costs in either case).
 

bolli

Member
Joined
26 Sep 2011
Messages
195
In Whitecroft, in the Forest of Dean, the council have put a new bridge over a cutting on the Severn and Wye Railway's mineral loop, which closed in the 60s/70s. The rest of the cutting is completely filled in and the line certainly will never see any trains again!

Bizarre waste of public money!
 

Waldgrun

Member
Joined
13 Oct 2011
Messages
297
When the A27 Havant bypass was built in the mid 1960's an over bridge was built, over the Hayling Island branch line, which closed in November 1963, this bridge was built with very generous clearances, because of the plan to reopen the line, using trams double deckers as well as single deck ones. Needless to say the line didn't reopen so no railed vehicle has ever passed through it!:lol:
 

MikePJ

Member
Joined
10 Dec 2015
Messages
281
Not quite a bridge, but NR did reinstate track on the mothballed line to St Ives (Cambs) after it was cut as part of construction works nearby. A few months later the whole line was lifted and turned into a busway.

Pictures here:

http://www.castiron.org.uk/photos/
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
17,853
Lichfield to Walsall. CLosed in 1984. M6 Toll penestrated the mothballed line, so requiring an underbridge.

Related to this, isn't there a bridge over the M6 toll for a canal that isn't there? Ta just a big lump of metal 6 metres in the air with nothing either side of it! What a waste of cash.
 

furnessvale

Established Member
Joined
14 Jul 2015
Messages
4,041
Related to this, isn't there a bridge over the M6 toll for a canal that isn't there? Ta just a big lump of metal 6 metres in the air with nothing either side of it! What a waste of cash.

The canal in question is being actively restored and, whilst it is a slow process, one day you will see a narrowboat cruising over that bridge as you drive beneath (always assuming they haven't shut the road in the meantime).
 

Bald Rick

Veteran Member
Joined
28 Sep 2010
Messages
17,853
The canal in question is being actively restored and, whilst it is a slow process, one day you will see a narrowboat cruising over that bridge as you drive beneath (always assuming they haven't shut the road in the meantime).

That bridge has been there 14 years and counting.
 

kdoganorak

Member
Joined
5 Jan 2015
Messages
31
There's a disused line running off the Medway Valley Line between Snodland and Halling (i.e Holborough) towards some long-gone works of some description to the West.

A large roundabout has been built (at least 10 years ago) in preparation for the arrival of an access road to a development the other side of the river.

Said roundabout not only incorporates and underpass for the disused line but track was re-laid, despite the fact that any ajacent track has either been lifted or is so rusted/overgrown as to be barely visable.

I reccomend a quick look at google maps. It looks quite bizzare!

Don't know if link below will work

https://goo.gl/maps/DdHviziFvnp
 

Penmorfa

Member
Joined
16 Nov 2011
Messages
363
Location
North Wales coast
At Maentwrog Road, between Blaenau ffestiniog and Trawsfynydd a new bridge was built over the line on the A470 in 2003. The line had closed in 1998.
 

Greybeard33

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2012
Messages
3,242
Location
Greater Manchester
Turnbull Road overbridge on the Skelton Junction to Partington freight line, LOR NW3025, ELR WJP1 (Woodley Junction to Partington - originally part of the CLC Glazebrook to Godley branch). See https://www.google.co.uk/maps/place/Turnbull+Rd,+Timperley,+Altrincham/@53.4057678,-2.3618151,624m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x487bac86a91bca25:0x49c4f7588b3e2a73!8m2!3d53.4057678!4d-2.3596264?hl=en

Line out of use since 1993, track partly lifted.

The bridge was constructed about a decade ago to serve the Stamford Brook, West Timperley, housing estate. It is to European loading gauge (UIC GB+), with electrification clearances, even though the rest of the WJP1 line still has many of the original CLC brick arch overbridges.

Around the same time there was a proposal to bring the line back into use to serve a tri-modal freight terminal on the south bank of the Ship Canal at Carrington. Planning permission was eventually refused and Peel Holdings' Port Salford terminal, on the opposite bank of the Ship Canal, has gone ahead instead.
 

krus_aragon

Established Member
Joined
10 Jun 2009
Messages
5,524
Location
North Wales
When the A55 was extended across Anglesey c. 2000, it included a bridge over the disused Anglesey Central Railway to Llangefni and Amlwch. The track hadn't seen use in a decade, and has since been declared out-of-use.
 

The Planner

Veteran Member
Joined
15 Apr 2008
Messages
11,191
The bridge was constructed about a decade ago to serve the Stamford Brook, West Timperley, housing estate. It is to European loading gauge (UIC GB+), with electrification clearances, even though the rest of the WJP1 line still has many of the original CLC brick arch overbridges.

Any new bridge is built to the maximum, you dont just build it to what is around it.

People are also assuming OOU is closed as Mr Locke was explaining above. OOU means it has no immediate use and is not maintained but does not mean it cannot come back. It makes me chuckle slightly that if we hadn't built these bridges everyone would be playing the "why didn't we protect the route, NR don't know what they are doing etc.."
 
Last edited:

furnessvale

Established Member
Joined
14 Jul 2015
Messages
4,041
Around the same time there was a proposal to bring the line back into use to serve a tri-modal freight terminal on the south bank of the Ship Canal at Carrington. Planning permission was eventually refused and Peel Holdings' Port Salford terminal, on the opposite bank of the Ship Canal, has gone ahead instead.

Which demonstrates the sense in NR not needlessly allowing destruction of its infrastructure.

Once breached such routes are almost always lost forever. Who's to say another proposal for the Carrington site won't be along soon.
 

billh

Member
Joined
7 Jan 2015
Messages
146
I believe this bridge at Guide Bridge was built after the railway beneath it was closed:

http://binged.it/1svfdvY

Oldham,Ashton & Guide Bridge Railway, closed between Stockport Junction and Crowthorn in 1982. The BRB made application to re-open, about 1995, the line prior to construction of the M60 hereabouts thus forcing a bridge to be built over the intact formation. However, at the this time serious consideration was being given to Central Railway's proposed Liverpool to Channel Tunnel line which would have used this route so the new bridge was more than just BRB being awkward. Since then, those plans have faded, but the bridge and the enabling legalities to re-open are still there.
Bill
 

rebmcr

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2011
Messages
3,416
Location
Cambridge
Clearing a cutting of earth/overgrowth is the work of a few days with one or two pieces of plant machinery. Building a bridge into an existing road is the work of a few years planning and heavy engineering.
 

Greybeard33

Established Member
Joined
18 Feb 2012
Messages
3,242
Location
Greater Manchester
Oldham,Ashton & Guide Bridge Railway, closed between Stockport Junction and Crowthorn in 1982. The BRB made application to re-open, about 1995, the line prior to construction of the M60 hereabouts thus forcing a bridge to be built over the intact formation. However, at the this time serious consideration was being given to Central Railway's proposed Liverpool to Channel Tunnel line which would have used this route so the new bridge was more than just BRB being awkward. Since then, those plans have faded, but the bridge and the enabling legalities to re-open are still there.
Bill
The line was electrified at 1500V DC from Guide Bridge to Ashton Moss Junction in the 1950s, as part of the Woodhead scheme. The Bing imagery shows the OHL gantries still in place on the northern section.

Interestingly, a schematic map on the Network Rail website used to show that the line was to be re-electrified at 25kV in Phase 5 of the NW Electrification Programme, together with the Guide Bridge to Stalybridge line and the Phillips Park branch. I suspect this was a draughtperson's error, since the wires would go nowhere unless the Guide Bridge to Crowthorn curve was reinstated!
 
Joined
13 Apr 2013
Messages
14
The Chesterfield Canal, being restored by the Chesterfield Canal Trust in the Staveley area, has to pass under a former mineral line which is being retained by Network Rail for connection to possible future opencast workings but is currently out of use with the track lifted. Extensive mining subsidence in the area means that the railway and surrounding area is lower than when the canal was last in use. The original bridge over the canal was dropped many years ago but to provide a replacement bridge with navigable headroom the canal also has to be dropped by several feet. This entails the construction of two new locks facing each other on each side of the railway and a low section of canal between them, all at great expense when there is no guarantee that the railway will ever be used again. http://www.chesterfield-canal-trust.org.uk/index.php/restoration/restoration-future-plans/477-what-are-the-plans-to-get-under-the-mineral-railway-at-lowgates
 

edwin_m

Veteran Member
Joined
21 Apr 2013
Messages
20,917
Location
Nottingham
Interestingly, a schematic map on the Network Rail website used to show that the line was to be re-electrified at 25kV in Phase 5 of the NW Electrification Programme, together with the Guide Bridge to Stalybridge line and the Phillips Park branch. I suspect this was a draughtperson's error, since the wires would go nowhere unless the Guide Bridge to Crowthorn curve was reinstated!

I think Heaton Norris to Guide Bridge was also being considered for eletrification, in which case it would have made sense. With all the chopping and changing I'm not sure which of these connections is currently proposed for electrification and when.
 

billh

Member
Joined
7 Jan 2015
Messages
146
The line was electrified at 1500V DC from Guide Bridge to Ashton Moss Junction in the 1950s, as part of the Woodhead scheme. The Bing imagery shows the OHL gantries still in place on the northern section.
Yes, as a lad ,I managed to get a cab ride from Guide Bridge to Ashton Moss sidings on an EM1, light engine there and brought a freight back, nearly to Guide Bridge. The crew was to change at the signal protecting Stockport Junction but we left the train unattended and walked along the cess to Platform 1 where I resumed spotting for the rest of the day. I was about 10years old. The line was de-electrified in 1971 but at Ashton Moss North there are still some experimental tubular steel overhead gantries.
Bill
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top