Broad St Underbridge, Bramley (Rail Possession)

Christmas demolition of Victorian arched bridge.

Railway Demolition, Hampshire

Another Railway Demolition project by Downwell. We were appointed by Osborne to demolish a Victorian style arched rail bridge which was located within a training facility in Bramley, Hampshire. Due to restrictions on line closures the project had to be completed over the Christmas shutdown period.

Scope of Works

  • A team of 6 operatives attended site 1 week before the scheduled main works to complete some enabling works. The coping stones and parapet walls had to be dismantled by hand to provide enough room for the demolition plant to reach the bridge without damaging the diverted services.
  • On Christmas Eve night the main demolition works began with  2 excavators digging back the soil either side of the abutments of the bridge. The soil was removed down to a predefined level and battered back which provided a safe excavation. The soil was transported via dump truck to an onsite location where it could be reused once the new bridge had been installed.
  • Establishing substantial exclusion zones around the works was very important with care and attention be put into it to ensure that the workers on site are adequately protected. We needed to adequately separate the ground workers, visitors and demolition plant from each other so that they could not accidentally come into contact with each other.  When establishing these exclusion zones we followed the guidelines set out in the NFDC Guidance Notes Demolition Exclusion Zones (DRG 110:2014)
  • The demolition of the bridge was completed by 2 demolition excavators with hydraulic breakers. One was positioned on each side of the bridge at ground level. Working across the span of the bridge the brickwork was broken into small sections. The brickwork was allowed to fall to the ground below which was protected with layers of plywood boarding.
  • During the enabling works prior to the demolition, a line was saw cut in to the brick work at a level which, when demolished down to, would enable the new pre-fabricated bridge to be manoeuvred by means of SPMT (Self Propelled Modular Transport) on to the prepared area at the precise level required.
  • The bridge was demolished mechanically down to 500 mm of the cut line. This was to ensure that the sections of brickwork breaking off did not go down below the required final level.
  • The arisings, once the bridge had been demolished were transported to the designated stockpile area using dump trucks. The arisings were kept at this location until after the possession had been completed.
  • The remaining 500 mm of bridge above the cut line was broken out by operatives using hand held breakers working from towers and MEWPs. This helped to ensure that the required cut line was accurate.
  • At the end of our second shift, after we had cleared all arisings from below the redundant bridge, the new bridge was driven in to place by SPMT which fitted exactly in to the correct position.
  • We received great praise for our works during the project from both Osborne and Mark Carne CEO of Network Rail through email and social media.

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Project Name:
Broad St Under Bridge

Bramley, Hampshire


Project Dates:
25-12-16 to 26-12-16

Project Value:



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