Hitchin rail curve main structure fitted

THE multi-million pound Hitchin flyover project has moved nearer to completion, with the main structure having been fitted over the weekend.

Network Rail, which is running the scheme, lifted the 300-tonne main span of the bridge into place using a 1,200-tonne crane on Sunday.

It took about 90 minutes to drop the span and bolt it in place.

Network Rail’s route managing director, Phil Verster, said: “The Hitchin flyover will make a real difference to passengers who travel on the East Coast Main Line, as well as people travelling to Cambridge and beyond.

“Trains will run more reliably and punctually and we will have cleared one of the major bottlenecks on the route.

“Lifting the main span into place is a milestone in the project and a sign that we are on track to deliver those benefits.”

Another significant part of the project also got underway, with contractors started sourcing chalk for the embankment from Wilbury Hills last week.

Most Read

They will remove top soil from the landscape, take a scraping of chalk, and then put the soil back in place.

This could take up until September of next year, although Network Rail is hoping to complete it sooner.

There were initially concerns from resident groups and councillors that chalk would be sourced from a quarry some miles away, and would subsequently cause traffic congestion on its way to the rail curve site.

But in the end, it was agreed that the chalk be sourced locally.

The �47m project, which will ease rail congestion on the London King’s Cross to Cambridge route, is scheduled for completion in early 2014.