£2.1m repairs on Drax rail route complete

Network Rail has completed work on a £2.1 million (€2.46 million) project to repair and strengthen a bridge used by Drax Group.

Aire Bridge in North Yorkshire is used by 100 freight services transporting materials to and from Drax Power Station on average each week.

Over the 10-day blockade, Network Rail staff removed more than 100 metres of track so that a new waterproofing and drainage system with a reinforced concrete slab could be installed.

New rail, sleepers and ballast – the beams and stones which support the track – were then re-laid. Work was also carried out to strengthen the steel structure, which should reduce the amount of maintenance work needed in the future.

These repairs mean that rainwater can now drain more effectively, reducing the likelihood of future structural damage and allowing freight trains to transport biomass to and from Drax Power Station more reliably.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to local residents and our colleagues at Drax Power Station for their patience and collaboration while we completed these essential repairs,” said Matt Rice, route director for Network Rail’s North & East Route.

“By strengthening the bridge, we’re able to reduce the number of delays caused by future maintenance work and, therefore, deliver an improved service for our freight customers and the communities they serve.”

Mark Gibbens, Drax Group’s head of logistics, said: “Drax Power Station is the UK’s biggest renewable power generator, providing enough green energy for 4 million homes in the first half of this year.

“Network Rail’s work to strengthen the bridge makes our global sustainable biomass supply chain more resilient, ensuring millions of homes and businesses can rely on the renewable power Drax generates."

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