Anyone know how to electrify a railway without knocking down bridges?

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Anyone know how to electrify a railway without knocking down bridges?

Network Rail and the Department of Transport are calling for ideas on how they can electrify the railway network without having to demolish bridges.

A huge railway electrification programme is about to start but bridges and tunnels pose problems, since catenary may not suit the original gauging to fit underneath the old structures.

As part of the electrification programme, FutureRailway, Network Rail and the Department for Transport are planning a competition to develop technology-enabled solutions addressing the avoidance of bridge reconstruction.

The competition aims to find solutions and ideas to harness novel methods of increasing the clearance below the bridge whilst avoiding reconstruction, minimising the cost of the works and disruption to the service beneath and across the bridge.

A competition briefing/partnership forming event will be held on Tuesday 25 February 2014 to allow bidders to gain more information about the competition and seek partners to form a consortium. To register for this event, contact

Any solution proposed has to be deliverable within conventional bridge reconstruction railway possession times. Techniques which require full bridge reconstruction are out of scope for this project.




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