Geograph Blog ::

A Bridge Too Far

By Bill Nicholls

Seems over the Christmas holidays I find a bridge that is going to be demolished. Last year Network rail demolished two bridges at South Morton SU5688 : Cranes and peckers by Bill Nicholls with the intention of fitting two bridge decks as it was they underestimated the deck weight and the fitting of the deck had to be postponed for a week while they changed the crane. It was fitted the following weekend at 2 in the morning.
This year while on a trip to Reading on the train I noticed they were doing some work on a bridge near Goring. So being a nosy person I went to investigate only to find they were going to demolish a bridge. This was to take place over the Christmas period because at Reading they were doing some major work there by adding new sections to existing bridges as part of the station expansion.
I felt the bridge should be documented so I went down and took photos of both temporary bridge SU6082 : New bridge at Spring Farm by Bill Nicholls and the old Brunel one which was being demolished as part of the programme of replacing the bridges that were too low to allow the new goods wagons through.
I managed to get down to the bridge a few days before work began on demolition though the weather was a disappointment and there was a haze of mist about SU6082 : Back to the Bridge by Bill Nicholls. The next day was better and a few more photos were taken though I was surprised to see a train going through SU6082 : Under the bridge by Bill Nicholls. While taking photos one of the workers spotted me and asked what I was up to, I told him and he said watch out for the supervisor but to carry on. On the way home he stopped me again and this time his supervisor came along to see what I was up to but after explaining he said to pop down and see him the next day and they would sort out a safe place for me to get some photos. Work was starting at 4am so I thought after what happened with the timetable at South Morton the previous year Id come along around midday when the work should be going on SU6082 : Waiting by the bridge by Bill Nicholls. This proved the right thing as they were laying the rail protection when I arrived SU6082 : The last shot by Bill Nicholls. The question was do I come back later or leave it till the next day to see the remains. Dinner got in the way and I left it till the morning only to find the bridge still in one piece and the machines moved out of the way. The worker I saw the previous day told me the work had been delayed due to them having to take up the rail protection to let a ballast train trough and the work was running late so management pulled the plug on the work at midnight sending a lot of disappointed workers home. I went along to the supervisors cabin to ask what had happened and he told me the story. Turned out this was the last in a list of work which had been going on. Reading bridge was the major work but also Purley where they lowered the track bed because they could not demolish the bridge due to a preservation order brought about by some local people, the bridge at Redbridge near Oxford had been demolished. I said looks like it had been a bridge too far which brought a groan, the bridge had been granted a stay of execution for now till Easter when the next work slot was to be unless it could be worked in beforehand. At least I managed to get a couple of photos of the bridge from the other side before going home all I need to do now is find out when the bridge will be demolished. SU6082 : A bridge too far by Bill Nicholls
On the 25th December 2011 the bridge was demolished. SU6082 : Finally gone by Bill Nicholls

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Sun, 9 Jan 2011 at 22:32
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