In England, the Goole Bridge renewal swings into action
Goole Swing Bridge has served the railways for over a century and a half. A new chapter is set to unfold for the iconic structure as it undergoes extensive renovations. What the national infrastructure agency Network Rail has in mind should give the venerable structure a new lease on life and set it up to swing for another century and a half.
A month of work is underway, continuing until July 2, to complete a series of major upgrades on the 154-year-old Goole Swing Bridge in the west of Yorkshire, northern England. The moving structure carries a mixed-traffic railway over the River Ouse and allows the tracks to pivot out of the way to allow water-borne traffic to pass. The engineering programme includes the renewal of its operating plant and vital systems. These enhancements are essential to ensure the smooth operation of rail freight traffic, passengers, and river users who rely on the bridge’s connectivity.
Further work planned this year
Since its construction, Goole Swing Bridge has played a vital role in facilitating the movement of rail freight, passengers, and river vessels with remarkable efficiency. As one of the largest and oldest surviving railway swing bridges in the UK, it has faithfully transported rail passengers between Doncaster and Hull while providing a safe passage for boats along the picturesque River Ouse. Despite its rich history and official listing as a national monument, the bridge still relies on much of its original hydraulic machinery from the 1860s. The upcoming upgrades are crucial to modernise the bridge’s operations and ensure its continued reliability for rail and river traffic well into the future.
Bringing the historic bridge structure into the modern day, Network Rail aims to maintain a seamless flow of transportation while preserving its remarkable heritage. During the essential renovation work, there are extensive changes to passenger services, operated by Northern, primarily on their regional services between Doncaster and Hull. “This bridge has reliably served passengers traveling between Doncaster and Hull for over 150 years and is rightly considered one of the finest swing bridges in Britain”, said James Wright, Senior Portfolio Manager at Network Rail. “I’m incredibly excited to see it benefit from much-needed upgrades.”
Further work to refurbish and recommission the bridge’s turning engines is planned for later this year. With the completion of the extensive upgrades, the improved Goole Swing Bridge will be ready to serve all rail freight traffic, passengers, and river users with enhanced efficiency. In addition to regular passenger services Goole Swing Bridge serves as a vital link for a variety of rail freight traffic. Being located between Doncaster and Hull, it enables the transportation of goods and commodities between two important industrial and port destinations.