October 20, 2015

Network Rail trials polymer footbridges

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NETWORK Rail (NR) has installed a fibre-reinforced polymer (FRP) pedestrian footbridge across the Plymouth - Penzance line at St Austell, the first structure on the British railway network to be constructed entirely from FRP material.

The bridge, which was designed by WSP and Pasons Brinckerhoff, is one of a number of pilot structures commissioned by NR to evaluate the durability of FRP, which could eventually see widespread use in footbridges, platforms, stairs, and walkways.

The lightweight structure was designed for easy installation, will not corrode, and does not require painting.

NR plans to install another footbridge at Ynyslas on the Aberystwyth - Shrewsbury line in central Wales, which will be one of the largest FRP structures in the world, comprising 11 prefabricated FRP units.

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