In a bid to reduce the impact of bridge strikes, which cause delay to train services while the bridge is inspected and, if necessary, repaired, the top ten most bashed and at-risk railway bridges across Anglia and East London will be fitted with a new CCTV system as part of a £190k investment programme.
The new CCTV cameras will capture images of the bridge deck, allowing faster examination in the event of a bridge strike. Structural engineers can examine the footage and damage as it was caused, which is particularly useful if the culprit has driven away. The footage allows for quicker assessment that helps engineers get train services running again, meaning fewer delays and cancellations.
Most of the vehicles that hit railway bridges are Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) and buses, at a cost of around £13,000 per strike – costing the UK taxpayer around £23 million in a year.
Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Bridge strikes are a significant safety risk and cause widespread disruption and delays for passengers. While this new system will reduce delays, I can’t stress enough how important it is for drivers to know the height of their vehicle and plan ahead to prevent these serious incidents happening in the first place.
“Drivers who chance it at bridges are at risk of losing their licenses and leaving their employers with a hefty bill for repairs and train delay costs, along with a strong threat to their own operator’s licence.”