Bridge and engineering services specialist Mabey has launched a new bridge lifting technique, which has been developed in collaboration with Alun Griffiths, Cass Hayward and Network Rail IP Engineering.
The new system involves a combination of proprietary steel supports and jacking, and has been successfully implemented under a trial project for Network Rail.
It is currently being considered for wider applications, including the scheduled renovation of Barmouth viaduct in Wales.
Mabey’s new approach has also been trialled on a single pier of the 150-year-old timber viaduct over the River Artro in Gwynedd.
The trail project was noted to have saved time and minimised disruption along Network Rail’s Pensarn to Llanbedr line.
Alun Griffiths Contractors Rail contracts manager Steve Richardson said: “We approached Mabey because of their expertise in delivering bespoke, smart engineering solutions in a short time-frame.
“As a long-term partner of ours, the team clearly understood our unique engineering requirements and the importance of developing a system that will bring significant benefits when adopted and applied to larger projects in the future.
“The successful trial over the River Artro will change the way we approach and programme these repairs.”
The design was developed at Mabey’s engineering facility, which is located in Garswood near Wigan.
It is anticipated to enable either the renovation or complete replacement of timber crossheads or support piers without stripping the track and deck structures.
Additionally, the system is expected to save time and costs for operators when used during larger timber viaduct projects.
Civil engineering and construction contractor Alun Griffiths selected Mabey to supply a combined jacking frame in order to trial the replacement of the timber crosshead, while ensuring minimal disruption to the railway above.