HS2 Engineers Build Key East West Rail Oxford-Cambridge Bridge

A new bridge that will carry direct rail services between Oxford and Cambridge has been lifted into position over the route of HS2 near Calvert, Buckinghamshire.

This will carry East West Rail (EWR) services linking Oxford, Bicester, Bedford and Cambridge, largely along a route that was closed in the 1960s.

East West Rail bridge lifted into place by HS2 engineers in Calvert
East West Rail bridge lifted into place by HS2 engineers in Calvert

Made of weathering steel, the bridge is designed to naturally age over time to a dark brown colour to help match the tone of the surrounding countryside.

It will cross HS2’s 2.1-mile Calvert cutting – one of the project’s longest, which is currently being excavated.

Around 685,000 cubic metres of material will be moved to create the cutting, which will be up to 9.7 metres deep, and wide enough to allow extra local railway lines to be added alongside the HS2 main line at a later date.

Earthworks and bridges in the area where the two projects cross is being built by HS2’s main works contractor EKFB – a consortium made up of Eiffage, Kier, Ferrovial Construction and Bam Nuttall ­– in order to improve efficiency and reduce disruption.

Engineers assembled the 315-tonne bridge on site and then lifted it into position using a 600-tonne crawler crane in just two hours.

Dave Newcombe, EKFB Project Director, said:

“The Calvert area is home to an important interface between two new railway networks which will see HS2 running underneath the East West Rail line.

“To reduce disruption for residents, achieve maximum delivery efficiency and reduce costs, EKFB carried out the earthworks and the build of the new bridge for East West Rail.

“Now, we’re pleased to be able to lift the structural steel platform onto the bridge – a great milestone for our construction programme.”

EKFB will also be undertaking 650,000 cubic metres of earthworks, two smaller road bridges and a footbridge for EWR in the Calvert area.

The first section of earthworks was handed over to EWR several weeks ago.

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