Will the refurbishment of the bridges to Broadway allow for the lifting of the bridges to prevent the bridge strikes?Bending vehicles may be unfortunate but affecting an operating railway is far more serious for the GWR, and the vehicles insurers. Can it be done?
Raising the bridges even by several inches doesn’t really give any benefit as the strikes have been from vehicles way in excess of the limit that haven't been checked, ignored signage and should not have been there.If we went for a better clearance at Broadway the platforms would have to be much higher and the formation alterations considerable. The formation would then have to rise again to get over the next bridge a bit like a wash board as having to increase the embankments to match the level would also be problematical.Not surprisingly the local feeling is supportive of not raising the bridges either as then bigger vehicles would use the route as a short cut – and then bigger still than any increased clearance and we would still get the hits.The new paintwork will include chevrons that will be better at night. Crash beams have been considered at a number of bridges in the past but they need significant works if they are not to become a danger in themselves. In one case on the national railway a crash beam was hit (the vehicle didn't make it to the actual bridge), dislodged and killed the driver – Its fare to say that if we do have any future hits at least with a proud Broadway supporting us we would have more chance of getting the vehicle details and prosecuting – which was the case in the last bash.Darren Fairley
Thanks for the explanation Darren. Just remember to get the vehicle insurers details too. They can pay for the bridge strike repairs.
Indeed, out of the last four bashes we have had two successful convictions.Whilst that doesn’t sound too spectacular, I used to be in the team that looked after the bridge inspections and bashes on Anglia region and we were fortunate if we caught 10%. We had 4-5 bashes a week with only the ‘big hitters’, not seemingly able to run and hide. One bridge, painted red and white, with a level crossing bypass used to get hit 1 or more times a week. The police used to monitor the bridge and one night their Stake out was true to its name when a meat lorry (over 4ft too high) hit the bridge shedding its load all over the road!We are also adopting the same approach of Network Rail of installing bash signage with phone numbers etc., to report the damage in addition to reporting it to the police. NB: All - Please leave your name at the bottom of the message rather than totally anonymous.Darren Fairley
Darren, can you confirm if the Broadway bridge is signposted with the normal triangular height warning signs or does it have the circular mandatory ones ? Might have a quick check on Google street view.
David,Broadway Bridge is one of the only bridges where we have been allowed to have a Circular Height sign on the bridge – It makes a difference from a prosecution perspective. Even though we asked we were not allowed to have a Circular sign on Laverton for example when we put the new bridge in.Darren Fairley