Rail workers have completed the installation of a new rail bridge over the Great Western Main Line to ready the existing railway for Crossrail trains to and from Heathrow.
The new flyover in Stockley, Hillingdon, will ensure that Crossrail and Heathrow Express services heading towards central London will be able to join the Great Western Main Line without delaying, or being delayed by, other trains using the route.
Two jacks launched the bridge with a force equivalent to that needed to lift 115 London taxis. A total of 20 moveable wheels and special Teflon sheets were also used to help the bridge launch.
“Launching a thousand tonne bridge over the Great Western Main Line is quite a feat of engineering and one that I’m sure would have made Brunel proud,” said Crossrail surface director Matthew White. “
Networ Rail’s Crossrail programme director Rob McIntosh said: “We used innovative methods as this was a complex and difficult operation. The system of sliding the bridge over the railway line allowed for controlled and safe installation with minimal interruption of rail services.
That said, it took a lot of preparation ahead of time, and we monitored progress very carefully.”
Crossrail services between London Paddington and Heathrow will begin in 2018 with a full service expected by 2019.