Massive disruptions expected for rail and motorway users as M62 bridge set for rebuild

Network Rail has submitted plans to Rochdale council for the reconstruction of Castleton Bridge (48A), a vital link in the Manchester-Leeds railway line.

The proposed project, set for next year, aims to replace the ageing 1969 bridge over the M62 motorway, leading to potential disruptions for both rail passengers and motorway users.

A crucial bridge carrying a railway line which runs between Manchester and Leeds is planned to be demolished and rebuilt next year.

The reconstruction of Castleton Bridge

Plans have been submitted by Network Rail to Rochdale council to knock down bridge 48A which runs over the M62 motorway at Castleton, in Rochdale.

Once work commences it is likely to lead to months of disruption for train passengers and affect drivers using the motorway, which connects Huddersfield in West Yorkshire to Greater Manchester.

The bridge was constructed in 1969 under an agreement between the British Railways Board and the Ministry of Transport for the construction of the M62 motorway.

Castleton Bridge carries the line which runs through Manchester Victoria Station, Rochdale, Todmorden and Hebden Bridge, and is located between Castleton and Mills Hill railway stations.

Manchester to Leeds trains re-routed

Trains also run on a different line to Leeds from Manchester Piccadilly station.

A Network Rail spokesperson said: “We’ve submitted an initial planning application to Rochdale council on our very early proposals to replace a 55-year-old railway bridge over the M62 later next year.

“If approved engineers will then work up detailed plans considering when the least disruptive time will be to carry out the complex engineering project for both rail passengers and motorway users.

“We’ll work closely with all agencies to minimise disruption and will release more details once the designs have been confirmed and project planning is complete.”

Reconstructing Castleton Bridge ‘last chance’ Saloon

Network Rail’s website states that ‘where possible’ it avoids reconstructing bridges, as it’s ‘usually the most costly option and can disrupt both the road and rail network’.

A full rebuild of a bridge generally involves the replacement of the bridge ‘deck’ – the structure usually including the road or rails, and preparations or installation of overhead line equipment to allow electrified trains to use the new bridge.

The scope of the works detailed in the application for prior approval states that it comprises of sections of ‘wingwalls’ to be removed to allow for a new deck and end of walkway platform, a new access walkway, a new steel ‘E-type’ girder deck and reinforcements of the concrete beam and abutment.

Prior approval applications are normally determined within eight weeks by a local authority.

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