Railway reopens after two Cheshire bridges are replaced

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The Middlewich branch line in Cheshire has reopened following a £4.5 million project to replace two bridges.

The railway was closed for five days so the bridges over the Trent and Mersey canal and Whatcroft Hall lane in Northwich could replaced using an 800-tonne crane to lift the new structures into place.

The new bridges are safer, more reliable and will need less maintenance in future. They will also secure the future of this important rail freight route which is used to supply vital construction materials across the country.

Oluwole Osunneye, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “Work to replace the Trent & Mersey Canal railway bridge is part of a £4.5m investment, which will mean that the structure remains safe and reliable for the economically important freight services that use it for many years to come.

Trent & Mersey bridge scheme crane.

“During a closure of the line, we’ve now installed the new bridge deck and I’d like to thank freight operators, motorists and local people for their patience.”

Michael Leadbetter, planning & resourcing director for Freightliner, said: “The Middlewich branch line is a key route for freight traffic moving between the Peak District, the markets in the North West and the Midlands. Allowing heavy freight trains to access this route is crucial to the success of moving aggregates on these corridors, which will only become more important with increasing volumes for HS2 and other customers.”