Jamestown Viaduct Inverkeithing, Fife

A crane lifting building materials onto a partially-built viaduct

About the Project

Project Information
  • Client: Network Rail
  • Principal designer: Corus
  • Principal contractor: Mowlem
  • Contract value: 4 million

This listed 19th century structure required strengthening to take loads of some 27 million tonnes per year.

The rail viaduct, situated on the north side of the Forth estuary, carries one of the most heavily used railway lines in Scotland, forming a vital artery in Network Rail's east coast railway system, with up to 200 train movements per day.

The scheme was designed to require only an eight day closure. This was done through changing the way the bridge acts under load, adding an in-situ reinforced concrete slab. This works with the existing steel truss girders and new steel work beneath, creating a composite structure from what had been a simply supported truss arrangement.

Over the eight days, around 20,000 man hours were worked across the team. The scheme included lifting the track, replacing a waterproofing system, reinforcement of the deck with 120 tonnes of steel and 600m3 of high strength concrete, and 8,600 welded shear connections. All whilst preserving the bridge's distinctive original structural form.

The judges said: 'This showed civil engineering delivery of a high standard where extremely tight deadlines prompted a highly disciplined team response.'

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