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Providing vital access in Crossrail expansion project

Stoke Poges, Berkshire

As part of the Crossrail West Outer Track Infrastructure Works project, a 73 mile (117km) new railway line in London, Network Rail built a new bridge over the line at Stoke Poges, near Slough. The new bridge accommodates overhead cables needed to introduce greener and more reliable electric trains. The original Horlicks Bridge, along with many others along the route, was not high enough to allow room for the overhead electric cables, so needed replacing.


£bn investment by Crossrail


mile new railway line


temporary bridge installed


New bridge supports Crossrail's 73 mile line expansion into London
Limited space on site meant the 50m Universal Panel Bridge had to be pre-constructed before it was lifted into position

Products used on this project

The challenge

We were contacted by Balfour Beatty Rail Limited to provide a temporary bridging solution to support existing services during the reconstruction of the Horlicks Bridge at Stoke Poges near Slough, Berkshire. Site restrictions in this busy area presented a challenge with limited space to pre-build the structure.

Our solution

We provided a temporary bridge spanning 50m. The Mabey Universal Vehicle Bridge standard components were used to create an 11 bay reinforced box bridge. The bridge provided a 2.4m wide platform allowing for services to be laid across. The design of the bridge had a support load of 5kN/m to allow for the services plus pedestrian loading for access.

The structure used standard bridge panels as bracing and to provide support for the decking minimising cost and build time. The bridge was supported on 2 No. 3m x 3m Mat 125 towers, 5m high. Using the MU bridging system in reinforced box configuration allowed pre construction of the structure in the minimum time prior to the lift in.

A large 750Te capacity crane was successfully used to lift the bridge into position over the 4 track section of the line with less than 3 hours in which to lift it into position. Stiffness of the structure was critical and had to be kept to a minimum due to the delicate nature of the multiple services that are carried on the structure and their limited clearance over the railway deflections.

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