The new structure, part of the Glasgow – Barrhead Electrification project, now provides the required clearance for an electrified railway.
It’s all part of the Scottish Government’s investment to decarbonise passenger services across Scotland’s Railway.
Network Rail, along with contractor Bam Nuttall Ltd, started work in March 2023 to replace the former 146-year old structure that connects Darnley Road and Moray Place.
Around 5,000 local residents and businesses were invited to vote for their preferred bridge design from three different options in the summer of 2021.
Through feedback from those who responded, the majority chose a bespoke curved design inspired by the former footbridge, with this receiving 85% of the votes cast.
One of the challenges was in delivering a design that kept with the conservation status of the area and that met with the required safety clearance for electrification within the restricted footprint of the previous structure.
This limited the opportunity to enhance the access to and from the bridge, although the new bridge is wider than its predecessor.
Less that 100-metres from the footbridge, the new road bridge at Nithsdale Road was completed earlier in January as part of the project, providing an accessible route between Darnley Road, Moray Place and the wider area.
Michelle McCaig, Network Rail’s project manager for the footbridge work, said: “The new footbridge was necessary in allowing us to electrify the line in this location.
“We understood at an early stage the significance the former footbridge held for the community and I want to thank residents and local businesses for their positive engagement in determining its design.
“I’m confident it will enjoy the same legacy at its predecessor and I’m very grateful to the community for the patience shown not just during the delivery of this work but the wider project.
“The footbridge represents the completion of the last piece of structural engineering on the Glasgow – Barrhead project, as we move even closer to introducing greener and cleaner electric trains on to the route.”
The new steel truss of the footbridge features a toughened glass parapet to achieve a solid but open look. It also incorporates elements sympathetic to the former bridge, including its black and white colouring and balustrades that match the existing railings at Moray Place.
The former footbridge was rehomed earlier this year with Caledonian Railway, a volunteer-run charity that maintains and operates a heritage railway in Angus and it will be installed as part of a restoration project at Brechin station.
Over the next few months, engineers will carry out snagging and finishing works to the overhead line equipment as part of the Glasgow – Barrhead project. This will be followed by signalling commissioning and running test trains on the route in the autumn, ahead of the introduction of electric trains from December.
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