Huddersfield moved one step closer to welcoming cleaner, greener and more efficient electric trains, as our TRU West Alliance teams installed a new, improved bridge near Deighton station.
Over the weekends of 6-7 & 13-14 August 2022, the 172-year-old footbridge on Fieldhouse Lane was replaced with a taller bridge, giving our engineers the space needed to eventually install overhead electric wires. This will make it possible for electric trains to run through the area in the future, bringing a cleaner, quieter railway for residents and passengers.
Around 150 rail engineers worked around the clock – totalling 4,700 hours – to deliver this essential upgrade over the two weekends. Due to restricted access on the site, the existing 13 metre-wide bridge was dismantled piece by piece, each weighing up to 16 tonnes, using a large Kirow rail crane.
The crane was used once more to install the new 3.5-metre-wide, 18.8-metre-long footbridge after it was transported from Greater Manchester to our Hillhouse compound in Huddersfield. The 15.8 tonne bridge made its final leg of the journey to Fieldhouse Lane by rail before being lifted into place.
Rail passengers were able to keep their journeys on track, diverting via Brighouse and the Calder Valley line. An increased number of services along this line was made possible thanks to resilience work having been undertaken over the past two years, reinforcing the route’s durability in the face of increased passenger numbers and the frequent heavy downpours that hit the region.
The successful Fieldhouse Lane bridge replacement was one key project in our major plans to bring faster, more frequent, greener trains to the Transpennine Main Line. The Transpennine Route Upgrade will see significant improvements completed across the entirety of the Manchester to York line in the coming years.
Crucially, the new Fieldhouse Lane bridge opened up this section of the game-changing Transpennine Route Upgrade to allow the laying of more rail tracks, doubling the number of lines from two to four between Huddersfield and Westtown near Dewsbury. Once completed, this increase will make it possible for faster trains and greater capacity along the entire route.