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Two-hour bridge repaire... don't be silly

I read with interest (NCE 25 October) that Network Rail will limit future possessions to just eight hours.
I cannot claim extensive experience in the rail sector, but have been involved in a number of contracts to replace or strengthen railway underbridges. These have generally been undertaken over a weekend, from late Friday evening to early Monday morning, lasting around 55 hours.

Of this time, approximately one hour was required to get the possession in place prior to work commencing, one hour to cut and remove the track, and a further hour to remove the ballast, to expose the bridge. A similar period was needed at the end to reverse these processes.

This left around 49 hours for the actual bridge replacement or strengthening, and every hour was needed!

Under the new proposal, it appears that only two hours would be left for work on the bridge, so can someone please explain how, in future, underbridge replacement will be carried out?

RICHARD P WILSON (F), rwilson@rhwspn5.com

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