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Oxshott parapet design to stay the same despite truck crash

Network Rail is making a like-for-like replacement of the Oxshott bridge parapet which was demolished by a loaded concrete mixer earlier this month.

Passengers on a Waterloo-bound train narrowly escaped death when the laden concrete mixer smashed through the brick parapet and fell 10.5m onto its roof (News last week).

Fears were immediately raised about the safety of the bridge but Network Rail has confirmed that the bridge was declared fit for purpose following an inspection after the Selby rail accident in February 2001.

It scored 84 on a comparative risk assessment ranking undertaken after Selby, when bridges that scored over 100 required action by highway authorities.

Bridge to re-open

Scores above 100 were judged to account for 95.2% of the total risk of road vehicles plunging onto the railway. Risk of similar incidents at sites rated in the same category as the Oxshott bridge was calculated at 0.1%.

As a result Network Rail has said replacement of the damaged section of parapet would be on a like for like basis.

Dyer & Butler is carrying out the work as Network Rail’s framework contractor. It also carried out the emergency response work to make the site safe. A total of 26m of parapet needs to be rebuilt – 15m of brickwork was smashed by the concrete truck, and a further 11m had been dislodged which also needs replacing.
With the like-for-like replacement, there will be 7,000 to 8,000 bricks used to reconstruct the parapet.

A Rail Accident Investigation Branch inquiry into the incident is continuing. Network Rail plans to re-open the bridge next week.

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