Bridge comes tumbling down

DEMOLITION equipment took to Ipswich's Derby Road railway bridge, as part of a multi-million pound project to get freight trains travelling from Felixstowe Dock to the rest of the country.

DEMOLITION equipment took to Ipswich's Derby Road railway bridge, as part of a multi-million pound project to get freight trains travelling from Felixstowe Dock to the rest of the country.

In the early hours of yesterday morning , hydraulic hammers mounted on cranes started demolishing the railway bridge at Derby Road.

The bridge – built more than 100 years ago – came crashing down and Derby Road looks set to be blocked for another five weeks.

The demolition work is part of a Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) project to get freight trains travelling from Felixstowe Dock to London.


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In recent years, the height of freight containers has risen to 9ft 6in while bridges, such as that at Derby Road, can only accommodate freight containers up to 8ft 6in tall.

Railway enthusiast Russell Whipps, 68, of Ipswich, said: "The reason the bridge was demolished was to allow larger containers to get from Felixstowe Dock. The bridge was just not large enough to take the vehicles."

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In the next five weeks a larger bridge will be built at the Derby Road station.

Work is also being undertaken to alter the bridges at Levington and Ipswich's Wellesley Road.

Chris Harvey, project sponsor at the SRA, said: "This project is of vital importance to East Anglia's rail freight industry. Without it, rail freight use will decline and could result in an extra 1,500 lorries a day on the roads."

The bridge at Levington is due to reopen on August 25 and the bridge on Derby Road on September 4.

Wellesley Road Railway Bridge is due to close on August 8 and re-open on September 11.

Passenger services from these services will be unaffected.

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