L.B. Foster’s InView Remote Bridge Strike monitoring solution watches over UK’s fifth most bashed rail bridge
A remote condition monitoring solution that allows inspection of the bridge structure and measures the amount of deck movement is installed on the fifth most bashed rail bridge in Britain.
L.B. Foster’s InView Bridge Strike Monitoring solution is fitted to the deck of Stuntney Road bridge in Ely, Cambridgeshire, which has received 12 strikes over the last 12 months. There were 1,833 bridge strikes across Britain’s rail network in 2021-22, according to Network Rail. The number of strikes was up 13% compared with the previous year, coinciding with an increase in post pandemic traffic.
Mike Hull, Head of Special Projects, L.B. Foster Europe says: “Bridge strikes are a costly problem for the railway causing delays to train services and the road network while damage is repaired. When a bridge strike occurs, the railway company has a responsibility to act to ensure the safety of passing trains.
“Our InView Bridge Strike Monitoring is designed to reduce the time taken for an initial bridge inspection after an impact, reducing the duration of bridge closure and delay to trains which in turn reduces compensation costs.
InView Bridge Strike Monitoring features always available solar powered CCTV that can inspect the bridge for collisions around the clock. When an impact occurs, the system’s telltale indicates the magnitude and direction of bridge deck movement. An operator logs into the system’s online portal to view a collection of images showing the bridge structure and tell-tales in order to determine if the structure is safe for trains to continue to operate until a bridge strike examiner can perform a full in-person assessment.
An essential part of the solution is that bridge movement can be easily identified. L.B. Foster’s unique tell-tale is designed so that any movement in the bridge is amplified on the target with markings to indicate both vertical and horizontal displacement. A quick comparison of the tell-tale images - before and after a reported strike - indicates any movement in the bridge allowing the bridge strike nominee or examiner to quickly and easily assess whether it is safe for trains to continue to operate
Sir Peter Hendy CBE, chair of Network Rail said: “Bridge bashers cause serious safety issues on the transport network for both road and rail users. Every incident can delay tens of thousands of passengers while we inspect the bridge and repair any damage – creating a huge cost from public funds.” *
Bridge strikes cost Network Rail almost £12 million in delay and cancellation fees in 2021/22.**