Thursday, 29 May 2008

Einstürzende Neubrücke

The story of what happened to the GE19 bridge last night is starting to become clear. The bridge had been jacked up to remove its temporary support brackets and lower it onto its permanent ones. The jacks failed and the bridge dropped a few inches, causing concrete debris to fall onto the track below - either parts of the deck or of a damaged support column.

We don't know much more than that, but I can explain a bit about this bracket business. When the bridge was moved into place, it needed to slide easily, so they placed these metal runners atop the concrete columns:

These needed to be replaced with something that held the bridge more securely, and here's the same column today:
The bridge is secured directly to the column with a couple of metal plates.

What we've still to find out is what they were doing at the time the jack collapsed, and which corner of the bridge the accident occurred at.

In any case, Network Rail really aren't happy about this "fiasco":

Because of concerns over TfL's handling and management of both the project and its contractors, Network Rail has banned work on the bridge, effective immediately. This will remain in place until TfL has completed an investigation and reported back on the causes of the incident and what measures it will be putting in place to prevent a repetition.
What is it with Network Rail banning TfL from their new bridges?


Anonymous said...

Hmmm. Wonder how NR would have approached this if they'd caused the incident and it had affected LUL lines. Would Peter Hendy be preventing NR from working on their own infrastructure until he'd received assurances? I'm sure he'd demand assurances, but I doubt NR would have succumbed to TfL pressure.
Still, of course, NR never have any problems on projects, do they...

Anonymous said...

Actually, thinking about it, NR would have step-in rights since TfL would have had to enter into an Asset Protection agreement with NR, where NR would have the ability to intervene where they perceive they are importing unacceptable risk onto their railway. Nothing to do with their bridge, more to do with land ownership and the infrastructure underneath the bridge.

Marcel said...

Hallo! I just want to say that I love this blog an it's very informative. This post has surprised me a bit because I'm from Germany and I see the title of this post in German. It is "Einstürzende Neubrücke". I've never seen any title in German on this blog.

stuart said...

Wow, not only the most reliable source of information about London transport, but also references to German industrial music! What more could you want??

Mwmbwls said...

Thus far the RAIB have not updated their current investigations register to include the GE19 jack failure. Does this mean that the investigation is being handled by others. Are we due for a prolonged delay as in the case of the Tesco Tunnel at GX whilst our leaned friends dip their oar in?