Sunday, 11 May 2008

The New Cross Gate bridge move

Thanks to TfL I had the privilege of witnessing up close the new East London Line bridge north of New Cross Gate being installed.

Here's a timelapse video of the move:

I've adjusted the length of each frame to match the time between taking photos, so it should accurately reflect the rate of progress. The video covers about 80 minutes of real time.

The bridge was moved on these massive powered trolleys that let them simply drive it across the railway line:
The track beneath was protected with ballast and metal panels, though as the bridge moved over you'd occasionally hear a panel pop as it took the weight). You can also see the curved framework on the bridge deck matching the track it will carry.

The wheels are all independently steerable and can also jack up and down. In the picture above they've arranged themselves into a gentle arc to rotate the bridge. Earlier they were rotated 90 degrees to move the bridge south a bit. Here they are mid-swivel:

The whole procedure was carried out with very little fuss, save some last minute measuring up:

I'm sure they'd like you to think this was all performed by laser-guided computer-controlled NASA technology. But no, it was a dude with a couple of joysticks:
Just drivin' a bridge.