The Anonymous Widower

‘Box Structure’ Flyover Saves £70m And Six Months For East West Rail

The title of this post, is the same as that of this press release on Network Rail.

This is the first paragraph.

Engineers have saved £70m of taxpayers’ money by using creative new methods to build a railway flyover as part of the East West Rail project.

This Network Rail picture shows how the new flyover rests on a concrete box, that spans the West Coast Main Line (WCML).

Note that the press release contains a video that explains how the flyover was replaced and why the method of construction saved all the money and time.

The main cost savings came about because of the following.

  • Construction could go on above the WCML without having to stop the trains.
  • Components for the flyover were made in a factory, with subsequent cost reductions and quality increases.

Anybody, who’s ever poured a concrete slab in typical British weather will understand the second point.

According to the press release, the method of construction gives a hundred and twenty year life span for the structure.

For comparison, this 3D Google Map visualisation shows the Hitchin flyover, which was opened in 2013.

Note the columns supporting the single-track railway.

If this was being built today, would a box be used as at Bletchley?

November 16, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | 1 Comment

VolkerFitzpatrick To Construct Bletchley High Level Station

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

Three visualisations and the words confirm a lot of the features of the station.

  • Six low-level platforms on the West Coast Main Line and two high-level platforms on the East-West Railway.
  • Full step-free access.
  • The two new high-level platforms will be numbered 7 and 8 and be connected by an underpass.
  • A new entrance on the Eastern side of the station.

From the visualisations, it doesn’t look to be a cheap and nasty design.

July 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 8 Comments

Bletchley Viaduct – 5th July 2021

I took these pictures of the new Bletchley viaduct today,

Note that there is now a bridge over the four tracks of the West Coast Main Line.

July 5, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments

UK’s Largest Mobile Crane Swings Into Action In Barking

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Barking And Dagenham Post.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The largest mobile crane in the country has swung into action to help extend a railway line.

The Gottwald AK680 – which has the capacity to lift 1,200 tonnes – installed steel beams for the remaining viaduct spans as part of the Barking Riverside extension (BRE) project.

This crane certainly seems to get about.

I think this picture shows the same crane in action at Bletchley in August. It was certainly claimed as the UK’s largest mobile crane.

Perhaps we need a rail-mounted version!

I always remember, a North Sea Oil project manager telling me, that as cranes got large it eased and speeded up construction.

This article on Vertikal gives more details of the crane in action.

March 20, 2021 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Bletchley Viaduct – 1st September 2020

Interestingly-shaped stumps are starting to appear.

I think this will be my last visit, until they start to erect the new viaduct.

September 1, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Bletchley Viaduct – 24th August 2020

The Bletchley Viaduct is falling down, as these pictures show.

Considering, that Lord Beeching said that the Varsity Line between Oxford and Cambridge shouldn’t be closed, I wonder how much money has been wasted over the years, by questionable engineering and Government decisions on this viaduct.

August 24, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

A Walk Around Bletchley Viaduct – 16th June 3020

Today, I donned my mask and took a train to Bletchley station, where I took a walk around the Bletchley Viaduct.


  1. How the section of the viaduct over the West Coast Main Line has been removed.
  2. The viaduct seems to be mainly flat sections, with three arches, where it crossed the road.

Judging by the noise of concrete being attacked by pneumatic drills, it would appear to be a tough piece of concrete to partially demolish. This could be a good thing, as a station guy told me. that the latest plan was to build the new viaduct and the two platforms on the foundations of the old viaduct.

This Google Map shows the station.


  1. Bletchley station with its six platforms.
  2. The viaduct running diagonally across the West Coast Main Line and then past the East side of the station.

This visualisation from East West Rail shows an idea for the new station.

It would appear the visualisation was taken from somewhere near the roundabout on the East side of the viaduct.

I took this picture from the zebra crossing outside the pub, by the roundabout.

It looks to me, that the retaining wall on the other side of the crossing will be removed and the station entrance will go somewhere along the straight part of the viaduct.

  • It could be about the place where a heavy digger or crane is working.
  • An entrance here, would give access to the bus station and the Brunel Shopping Centre on the other side of the roundabout.
  • If you look at the wider maps of the area, it can be seen that the stadium, where Milton Keynes Dons play their home matches is not that far away. So the new entrance, will ease getting to one of the least accessible football grounds in the country.

This Google Map shows an enlargement of the roundabout and the surrounding area.


  1. The Bus Station in the North-East corner of the map.
  2. The Brunel Shopping Centre in the South East corner of the map.
  3. The roundabout, where I took the picture on the zebra crossing, of the retaining wall.
  4. The step-free footbridge in Bletchley station can be clearly seen

It would appear, that there is space behind the retaining wall to build the station entrance alongside the viaduct and link it to the existing footbridge to give access to the rest of the station.

It appears that Network Rail are using the reinstatement of the East West Railway, as an opportunity to sort out important transport needs in Bletchley.


June 17, 2020 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , | 2 Comments