TICKET TO SLIDE: New Buxton rail line bridge installed - PICTURES

The bridge on the transporter ready to be moved into position. Photo: Stockport MBC.
The bridge on the transporter ready to be moved into position. Photo: Stockport MBC.

If you wondered why there were no trains in and out of Buxton over the Easter bank holiday, here’s the reason...

These pictures show the major construction project undertaken last weekend to slide a new 400-tonne steel bridge into place on the Buxton to Manchester railway line.

And the operation was successfully completed ahead of schedule.

The bridge - one of the longest single span plate girder bridges of its type in the country - was installed at ‘Simpsons Corner’, between Hazel Grove and High Lane, to carry trains over the new A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road which is under construction.

Work began on the Thursday evening and continued 24 hours a day over the four-day holiday weekend, during which the rail line was closed and train services replaced by buses.

A spokesperson for Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council said: “The bridge slide which took place over the Easter weekend as part of the A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road scheme was successfully completed.

Inspection of the new bridge takes place. Photo: Stockport MBC.

Inspection of the new bridge takes place. Photo: Stockport MBC.

“The rail line was handed back to Network Rail at 11.30pm on Easter Monday - six-and-a-half hours earlier than planned.”

Due to its size and weight, the new bridge was transported to the site in sections and welded together, before being moved into position at walking pace using special modular transport units.

The A6 to Manchester Airport Relief Road will see approximately ten kilometres of dual carriageway constructed to improve access across south east Manchester and east Cheshire.

Due to open in autumn 2017, the new two-lane dual carriageway will stretch from the A6 near High Lane to Manchester Airport, with new sections encompassing the existing A555 near Bramhall.

Work took place 24-hours a day over the Easter weekend. Photo: Stockport MBC.

Work took place 24-hours a day over the Easter weekend. Photo: Stockport MBC.

The scheme is being developed by Stockport Council, alongside Manchester City Council, Cheshire East Council and Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM).

Completed excavation work. Photo: Stockport MBC.

Completed excavation work. Photo: Stockport MBC.

A view from under the bridge. Photo: Stockport MBC.

A view from under the bridge. Photo: Stockport MBC.

The operation to move the bridge into place gets underway. Photo: Stockport MBC.

The operation to move the bridge into place gets underway. Photo: Stockport MBC.

The bridge is moved into position. Photo: Stockport MBC.

The bridge is moved into position. Photo: Stockport MBC.

The first train across the new bridge. Photo: Stockport MBC.

The first train across the new bridge. Photo: Stockport MBC.