Bridge replacement project means no trains between Sleaford and Spalding for four days

There will be no trains running between Sleaford and Spalding for four days in October due to £1.5m major engineering works to replace a bridge.
Vernatt's Drain rail bridge. EMN-170925-095233001Vernatt's Drain rail bridge. EMN-170925-095233001
Vernatt's Drain rail bridge. EMN-170925-095233001

Network Rail is to carry out improvement work to a railway bridge over Vernatts Drain, at Spalding as part of upgrade plans.

The bridge, which lies on the line between Spalding and Sleaford will be demolished and a new, ready-made bridge installed in a £1.5 million investment that will mean a stronger bridge able to carry heavier freight trains freeing up capacity on a congested piece of the East Coast Main Line by travelling at higher speeds along the Joint Line from Doncaster via Lincoln and Sleaford to Peterborough.

Network Rail workers have been on site since July, but the main piece of work will begin on Saturday, October 21 and be completed on Tuesday, October 24. No trains will run on the line and passengers are advised to check before they travel during this time.

The pedestrian crossing will be temporarily closed between Monday, October 2 and Monday, November 6.

According to Network Rail, the rail freight industry directly contributes £870m to the nation’s economy every year, as well as taking lorries off the road which drastically reduces congestion.

Rob McIntosh, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “The work we are carrying out at Vernatts Drain will be of great benefit to the freight industry.

“Demand for rail freight is set to grow by 30 percent over the next decade and it is vital that we make improvements to our railway, so that we can cater for this growth and ensure we are able to provide a network which meets the needs of the economies and communities our railway serves.”