Norbiton Railway Bridge Replacement

Travel from my home in Norbiton, part of  Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, here in the UK into London has been severely disrupted, in fact the trains will not be running over the four day Easter holiday.

Why?

They are replacing the railway bridge.


The old Norbiton Station Bridge.

Originally in the early 1830’s, with rail travel in its’ infancy in England, it was decided to create a rail link between London and Southampton with the formation of the London and Southampton Railway Company (LSRA). On 21 May 1938 the line was opened between Nine Elms, also known now as Vauxhall, to Woking, with Kingston upon Thames station located due to local Kingstonian opposition, about 1 mile away on Surbiton Hill.

As the benefits of having a railway station were soon recognised by the flourishing suburb of Surbiton, Kingstonions pressed for their own station near to their own town center, and in 1863 after acts of Parliament, a branch line was created from Twickenham to Kingston, which initially was to have stopped north of Kingston at Hampton Wick on the north bank, on the opposite side of the River Thames.

Shortly after 1869, the line was extended through Norbiton, the next town to join the main line from London Waterloo to at New Malden.

The low bridge at Norbiton, built at the above time, has been hit a few times by high sided vehicles, and having wooded rail sleepers, would if I am told by a senior track engineer, have a speed restriction of 20 mew, placed upon trains using it. It had to be replaced.

Due to the restrictions imposed by the water supply company, the bridge could not be lifted in one piece, and using a gas cutting tool, the central section was taken away, leaving the two outer supports to be lifted by a giant 500 ton crane.

The whole operation should take four days, and the teams of workers, work like a ballet dance, as the old bridge is removed, masonry taken away so that new concrete sections can be installed.

Lastly, the new sectional bridge will be built, hopefully ready for the commuters to catch the early morning rush-hour train on Tuesday.

The only sufferers so far on this twenty-four hour operation are the pigeons who nested in the old bridge. (click to read)

        
New concrete supports waiting on trailers, and the old Norbiton Station bridge ready to be removed

       
The old Norbiton Station bridge just begining the lift, and the 500 ton crane ready for the lift

 
The 500 ton crane lifts the old Norbiton bridge on a flatbed lorry

More on trains, the SWT Class 455 train  at Norbiton Station

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