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Rail Project – New Bridge Installation

TPA provides temporary roadway for historic launch of £10m new bridge at Slough Trading Estate.

TPA provides roadway for historic launch of £10m new bridge. During a night time operation, the bridge weighing almost 1000 tonnes of steel was successfully launched across the Great Western Railway as part of the transformation of the Slough Trading Estate.


  • Night time operation to launch the key infrastructure project, part of a £10 million investment in the Leigh Road Bridge.
  • The bridge is made up of almost 1,000 tonnes of steel
  • When open in September it will provide a new two-lane single carriageway road over the railway line.
  • TPA’s heavy duty aluminium roadway installation spanned some 445 panels on a one week hire, with a part recovery which left 88 panels on site for a further 8 weeks.
  • During a nighttime operation, the bridge weighing almost 1000 tonnes of steel was successfully launched across the Great Western Railway as part of the transformation of the Slough Trading Estate.
  • 4x TPA crew’s completed the temporary roadway installation under the guidance of a Project Co-ordinator.
  • During a stealthy operation which began at 2am on February 8, the 52-metre long bridge was installed by a team of industry experts using a heavy plant transporter.
  • The railway was temporarily closed during the operation as a race against time begun to get the structure securely in place over the track.
  • By 2am the tricky operation had been completed with rail services able to resume on the track.

A highly skilled and experienced team from SEGRO and engineering firm, Osborne, spent 18 months meticulously designing the 95.9m bridge and its subsequent installation. The structure is made up of three sections – the 27 metres nose to guide the bridge over the gap; the actual bridge which is 52 metres long and the 16 metre tail, which acts as a cantilever.  The nose and the tail are removed once the bridge is fully settled on the concrete abutments on the embankments.

Leading edge engineering techniques and machinery were used throughout the project from planning to implementation. The team worked closely with Network Rail and consulted independent professionals who reviewed the plans to ensure all eventualities were considered and accounted for.

TPA were involved in the project for 10 months prior to install, liaising regularly with project managers and attending pre start and site meetings.

The 52m bridge install was one of the largest ever in Europe to be installed in one section due to its design and being built from scratch on site.

TPA’s Will Armitage managed the project internally from seed stage via the hire desk and then due to a change in his role from Hire Desk Controller transitioning through to Business Development Engineer. Will continued to manage this project on a face to face basis throughout March and April, visiting site and working closely with client Osborne’s project managers in the pre-planning and delivery.

The size and scale of the bridge, along with the confines of a built-up area, required a specialist type of heavy plant transporter, known as a self-propelled modular transporter (SPMT), to move the bridge, rather than a traditional crane.

The SPMT is a platform vehicle with modules of four, five or six axle lines. The modules can be connected to multi-wheel transporters to move a load that is too big or too heavy for a truck or low-loader. It can rotate around its centre to make a 360° turn and can move sideways – ideal for moving the bridge into position and avoiding surrounding buildings en-route.

You can watch The One Show’s coverage via BBC iPlayer here (the launch is featured approx. 23 mins in):