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Radwell Road Network Rail Structure

Shay Murtagh’s Contribution to the Radwell Road Network Rail Structure

Shay Murtagh Precast contracted by J Murphy & Sons in 2014, to provide the precast concrete units for a new railway bridge over the Midland Mainline in Milton Ernest.  This is part of a significant investment by Network Rail to prepare the line for quieter, faster electric trains. In order to electrify the line, the height of this bridge had to be raised to allow for the installation of overhead line equipment.

This new bridge which is over the Bedford to Wellingborough railway was constructed using a number of precast units, designed and manufactured by Shay Murtagh Precast. The concrete bridge structure is highly skewed and required precision engineering by the Shay Murtagh manufacture team. Each unit was designed to exact specifications and a full trial erection was carried out in the factory pre-installation to ensure complete conformity with the layout and lifting procedures for site.


  • 8 Internal Conarches (Skewed)
  • 4 External Conarches (Skewed)
  • 4 Main (H4a) Parapets 13m & 18m long, 1850mm high with Brickwork Façade for over the main spans. 2 units about 13m long weighed 46 tonne and 2 units 18m long weighed 62 tonne.
  • 4 brick faced approach units also (H4a vehicle containment)
  • 2 brick faced Central parapet units 1.85m high
  • 4 Cill Beams varying between 14m and 15m long heaviest one was 46 tonne
  • 11 Risers heaviest one about 40.5 tonne
  • 224 Copings
  • 7 N2 brick faced Approach Blocks (N2 vehicle containment)

The substructure consisted of four cill beams dowelled to 11 riser units, some of which weighed in excess of 45 tonnes. With spans of up to 18m the superstructure units required specialist transportation to arrive safely on location in Bedfordshire.

It was then up to the Murphy installation team to work to the strict time constraints set to reopen the bridge to both rail and road. All precast units (with the exception of the lighter N2 approaches) were installed using a LG550 strut jib crane supplied and operated by Ainscough Crane Hire.

With this project completed safely we would like to congratulate the Murphy and Network Rail teams on another successful, accident – free operation.



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