New bridge for Balgray reservoir walkers in Scotland

Photo: Network Rail

A £2.9m project to replace a bridge on a key walking route over the Neilston railway line in Scotland has taken a big step forward.

That’s after the replacement bridge deck was lifted into position at the start of this week.

The Balgray reservoir lies between Newton Mearns and Barrhead, south of Glasgow.

Saturday is now the most popular day for people to travel on Scotland’s Railway, so work took place with a line closure on Sunday and Monday.

It’s the first time this has happened in Scotland, with engineers working around the clock from the early hours of Sunday until Tuesday morning.

On-site teams used a Kirow 1200, the largest rail-mounted crane in the UK, to lift the pre-cast concrete components into place.

The overhead line equipment that powers electric trains was disconnected from the old bridge deck while new concrete beams were installed. It was then connected to the new bridge to allow trains to run from Tuesday morning.

Susan Menmuir, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “The existing concrete bridge deck was gradually deteriorating and nearing the end of its lifespan. Our work will extend the lifespan of the bridge, helping to keep the railway safe and reliable for years to come.

“I’d like to thank passengers and the community for their patience. I understand there’s never a good time to carry out work that disrupts passenger trains. By working on Sunday and Monday, however, we were able to minimise disruption on Saturday, which is now the busiest day for rail travel in Scotland.”

Demolition of the former bridge deck, as well as the removal of a disused bridge near Neilston station, took from August 13 to 15.

The diverted footpath to Balgray reservoir will remain in place until November this year while further work is carried out to refurbish the structure.