The Great Western Railway electrification is part of the biggest investment in the railway since Brunel built it over 150 years ago and is designed to create faster, more reliable services, better stations and increase freight capacity.
Over the Christmas period of 2016 engineering work was undertaken to enable electrification to take place. Part of this required update was the replacement of the footbridge between platforms 1 & 2 at Paddington Station. The replacement was required to increase the clearance of the bridge to facilitate the electrification of the line.
The project was unusual in that the footbridge is part of the series of footbridges and stairs that connect all the platforms at the other end from the main concourse. It is also within Paddington Station, a Grade I listed building. For this reason, a sympathetic replacement, that did not change the overall appearance of the footbridge, was required. In particular, the replacement had to be limited in size, and connect back to the preserved original structure.
Moreland Project Role
Moreland were contacted by contractor Beaver Bridges to provide support for these works.
The designs for both the permanent and temporary works had been undertaken by consultants working for the principal contractor. The principal contractor was also responsible for the provision of the necessary temporary works on site.
Due to the very short timescales associated with the project both on site and in the preparation phase, Beaver Bridges felt that gaps may appear between the various designs and site conditions. These were seen as particularly difficult due to the tightness of the site, the necessity to re-connect to existing structures and the presence of services under the original footbridge, that were to remain in position during the works.
Moreland reviewed the temporary works proposals and generated sequence drawings to complement the Project Execution Plan. Moreland also attended site throughout the operation, to be able to resolve any technical issues arising. Unusually, Moreland were nominated as CRE-D for this, in order to be able to make authorised changes to designs.
Moreland attended site throughout the replacement operations, between 24th and 28th December 2016. A few assessments and changes were required, for instance measures to ensure the stability of stairs, involving additional propping and existing steelwork modifications. These were successfully implemented, and thanks to the tireless work of the Beaver Bridges team, the footbridge replacement was completed on time.
Beaver Bridges thanked us for our work on this project, adding:
“It was a massively ambitious, complex and difficult project that at times tested the Beaver Bridges team as a whole to the very limits of what was achievable.