Jo Kaye, Network Rail’s route director, said passengers are now reaping the benefits of the work. “The first thing regular passengers will notice is how quiet the ride is over the viaduct compared with before. We have taken away the old jointed track and replaced it with continuous rails. Not only is this quieter but it is also makes the ride over the viaduct a lot smoother.
“In due course we will be doubling the speed of trains over the viaduct which could lead to reduced journey times in future timetables.”
Arnside Parish Council expressed its appreciation for the way the work had been carried out, saying: “It has been on time with a minimum of mess and disruption to the village, for which we are grateful.”
Site compounds were set up at either end of the viaduct, which closed at the end of March. Old material was taken away in the Grange direction and the new decks brought in from the Arnside compound.
Working on one line at a time, the railway tracks were removed to expose the viaduct decks, which were cut into sections, lifted out by special road/rail machines and taken away to the Grange compound.
Special gantry cranes were then erected which moved along the viaduct lifting the new deck units into position before base plates were bolted in place to take the new continuously welded track. The type of base plates and track used mean a quieter, smoother ride for passengers and less maintenance for both Network Rail and train operators.
Having completed the line towards Barrow, the process was reversed to renew the viaduct in the Carnforth and Lancaster direction.
The 30 mph speed restriction is due to be removed after a settling in period, and the speed of trains over the viaduct is expected to be increased to 60 mph in the New Year.
City.Mobi has launched its new guide to London.
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