TPA provide access all hours on major railway line upgrade

07 May
Portable roadways supplied by specialist temporary access solutions provider TPA have provided an access solution for J Murphy & Sons while they were carrying out major works to help electrify an area of the Midland mainline railway line at Rushden, Northamptonshire.

This was TPA’s second substantial project for J Murphy & Sons within six months.

The project 

Built in 1860, the four-span brick arch bridge carries westbound traffic on the A45 dual carriageway over the St Pancras to Leicester railway line.  Owned by Highways England, it has a square width of approximately 9.09m to 9.22m between parapets and skews approximately 33° to the railway.  There are verges on both sides of the carriageway but no pedestrian access over the structure which was restricted to single carriageway while the work was carried out.

Due to proposed overhead electrification, the headroom clearance over the rail to the central east span of the bridge was increased. The central east span of the structure was reconstructed with precast conarch units. The conarch sat on precast cill beams which were dowelled to the existing piers. High-containment H4A concrete parapets were provided over the new span and the existing brick parapet was retained for the remaining part of the structure.


With the location of the site being over a kilometre from the main highway, a temporary roadway was required which could safely accommodate access to the project for a wide range of delivery and removal of equipment and machinery over its nine-month duration. This included delivery of the new precast conarch units and the heavy plant required to install them.


J Murphy & Sons specified TPA’s heavy-duty aluminium Trax panels for the temporary roadway as these are ideally suited for use in the most challenging environments and designed to deal with diverse weight ranges - an important requirement at this project.

Some 1,400 panels were installed over 1.5km of fields and a ditch to enable access to the A45 Higham Bridge or Knuston Lodge South rail overbridge. This allowed 6m-wide access to the site, as well as a 50m by 50m compound pad, for 1,000-tonne crane, artic, vans and delivery vehicles. The 3m-wide panels were doubled up over the small ditch to minimise bowing.

The TPA panels which were installed in only two weeks, were laid over Terram ground sheets to help prevent mud and weeds coming through over the nine months’ duration of the project.

Client comment

James Walker, senior buyer at J Murphy & Sons, said the TPA panels were preferred on the Higham Road project based on “project duration, application and costs.”

He added: “They have performed well under challenging conditions, both during winter and summer months. The product has stood up well to all weather conditions.”