150-year-old railway bridge set to be removed
A critical phase of work to rebuild a 150-year-old bridge which is used by trains travelling between Melton and Stamford is due to take place next weekend.
Network Rail started work on the project to replace the Manton structure in Rutland last month and a newer, stronger one is being installed.
Between the last train service on Thursday June 3 and the first service the following Monday, the bridge will be removed and the replacement – which weighs around 425 tonnes - will be put in place from underneath.
During the main stage of the project, a section of the line will also be closed and there will be changes to train services.
Buses will replace CrossCountry trains between Melton Mowbray and Peterborough on Friday June 4 to Sunday June 6, when the level crossing at Oakham will also be closed to enable resurfacing to be carried out.
On Friday June 4, the two East Midlands Railway services which usually run between Nottingham and Norwich via Melton Mowbray are being diverted via Grantham. Rail replacement bus services will connect passengers between Nottingham and Peterborough.
Passengers who need to travel are strongly advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.
The prelminary work on replacing Manton bridge has meant the A6003 - which connects Oakham with Uppingham - beiing closed to traffic since last month and it won’t reopen again until Monday July 5, when the work is complete.
Gary Walsh, Route Director for Network Rail’s East Midlands route, said: “We know this section of the A6003 is a vital connection for drivers in Rutland and the surrounding areas and we want to thank them for their patience while this vital upgrade is carried out.
“Although the first stages of the work haven’t been visible for the local community, a lot of preparation is involved before lifting the bridge and installing the new one – and the project can only be carried out safely when the road is closed.
“Reconstructing Manton bridge will mean people can safely and reliably connect to other towns and cities via rail or road for generations to come.”
Councillor Lucy Stephenson, cabinet member for highways at Rutland County Council, said: “I’d also like to thank local residents for their patience while Network Rail carries out this extensive bridge repair project.
“We know it’s a massive inconvenience for drivers who are trying to get around the county, and I thank everyone who is following the official diversion route.
“This is important because it sends traffic along the safest and most appropriate route while the bridge replacement works are ongoing.”
She added: “This diversion is also designed specifically to stop heavy goods vehicles contravening weight limits by using country lanes.
“At this crucial stage of the bridge reconstruction, please continue to be patient, drive to the conditions, use the diversion and show consideration for local communities and other road users while Network Rail completes these important works.”