Osborne Preparing for Christchurch Christmas Possession
Osborne will be undertaking essential bridge refurbishment works to the River Stour and River Avon Viaducts in Christchurch, which have carried the railway since the late 1880’s.
As part of the £250million, One Team Wessex programme, Osborne will take possession of part of the London Waterloo to Weymouth mainline, between Hinton Admiral and Pokesdown stations in Dorset for ten days between Christmas Eve and the New Year.
The River Stour Viaduct will be grit blasted, repainted and minor steelwork repairs carried out and following completion of the works, which include the replacing of the rail bearers to both viaducts, the speed at which trains run over the River Avon Viaduct will be increased.
The River Avon is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) as well as being a protected wetland ‘Ramsar’ site.
In order to preserve the delicate ecosystem of the River Stour and to protect the operational railway from the grit blasting and painting works, Osborne has already begun work to fully encapsulate the River Stour viaduct.
Chris Adams, Osborne Project Manager said: “This is a great project for Osborne and for Network Rail. Due to its size and complexity, a ten day possession over Christmas is the best logical solution, minimising disruption for passengers on the main line to London Waterloo. Once complete, the works will ensure the safe operation of each bridge well into the future.”