Network Rail Flow Bridge – Foundation Solution
Rapid Root Rail were delighted to be selected as Foundation provider for the Network Rail Flow Bridge project.
The Network Rail team led by Andy Cross were keen to challenge existing traditional footbridge design.
Steel and concrete were to be replaced with FRP and Carbon Fibre. Utilitarian looks were to be replaced with striking design and above all, costs, and carbon footprint were to be reduced.
As the project came to life there were the added complications of a world wide pandemic, removing the ability for the team members to meet.
The entire process up to the build stage was completed without any of the external contractors meeting in person.
Designs were discussed and amended at weekly meetings conducted over Microsoft Teams.
After 10 months of online collaboration, development and remote production we went to site In mid April to install the Rapid Root Rail foundations.
The bridge build was delivered by The Network Rail delivery team. The Bridge spine (by KS composites of Leicestershire) followed on Immediately, as did the deck system manufactured by Suigeneris in Kent.
Fibre Optic monitoring systems were added as the build progessed by Eplison Fibre optics. The glazed parapets were designed and installed by Q Railings to complete a visually stunning bridge in time for Chief Executive of Network Rail to Inspect prior to display to the Rail community at it’s temporary home of Long Marston Rail test facility in Stratford.
The bridge is to be dismantled and relocated onto a live track in Wales at the end of 2021.
All in All the project was a unique experience working remotely with “Can Do” people.
Network Rail are hoping to use the same team to deliver Footbridges across the network over the coming years.