Network Rail engineers worked through the night to install the two-story footbridge and lift towers, as part of the ongoing project to improve accessibility for passengers.
The structure was delivered onto Inverclyde Council’s park-and-ride car park at Highholm Avenue before it was craned section at a time into position on the station platforms.
At 16m tall, and weighing more than 25 tonnes, the lift tower for Platform 2 was the longest and heaviest section to be installed. When complete, it will provide a step-free route from Platform 2, over the railway to Platform 1 as well as higher access to the Highholm Avenue car park.
Laura Craig, Scheme Project Manager for Network Rail said: “Delivering a structure of this size onto the platform is a huge achievement. We’ve worked collaboratively with our principal contractor STORY while liaising with Inverclyde Council to ensure this was done safely and on time.
“Working through the night provides the safest environment for our teams to work in and causes the least disruption for passengers. There is still a lot of work to do before passengers will be able to use the footbridge and the lifts, but we hope everyone living nearby and using the station is pleased with the progress and we thank them once again for their patience and understanding throughout the project."
This project has been funded by the Access for All (AfA) scheme, with contributions from Inverclyde Council, and is designed to make it easier for people with impaired mobility or those travelling with luggage, children, or bicycles to access the platforms.
Another crucial part of the design was to provide new uncovered ramped access to the station entrance at Princes Street, with modern railings, new lighting, and a CCTV system which was completed earlier this month.
Councillor Michael McCormick, Ronnie Cowan MP, and Stuart McMillan MSP all attended site recently the see progress first-hand.
Councillor McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said: “Following the completion of the striking new step-free entrance to Port Glasgow train station, it’s great to see the new bridge in place and this massive project now really coming to life.
“It is a remarkable feat of engineering and credit to the staff involved for carrying out such a complex installation in just a few hours overnight at the weekend during the small window when trains are not running on this busy line.
“As well as the visual improvement compared with the existing bridge – something that will be removed at a later date, this new structure will have lifts at either side and links directly to the park-and-ride car park on Highholm Avenue to make it even easier for people to access the station and travel by rail.
“I look forward to seeing the project progress even further over the coming weeks and months towards the expected completion early next year.”
Ronnie Cowan, MP for Inverclyde, said: "I am delighted to see the most recent stage of the passenger access improvement.
"Following on from the installation of the ramp access to the westbound platform, the new bridge over the railway will become part of the greatly improved accessibility facilities.
"The installation looks really good and there has been no disruption to the rail schedule. I look forward to the completion of work and installation of the lift sometime next February.
"It’s taken a long time to get this in place but it will be a huge asset to the station. Passengers at Port Glasgow can look forward to a greatly enhanced experience of the station."
Stuart McMillan, MSP for Greenock and Inverclyde, said: “I was very keen to visit the station again and see the progress that has been made since my last visit earlier his year.
“The team undertaking the work is making great progress. This work will not only make a huge difference to passengers but will increase access to the town centre.
“This large-scale investment in Port Glasgow Town Centre I’m sure will be welcomed by all and I’m really excited to see the work completed and hear from passengers about how this project has simplified and opened up their access to our railway network.”
The footbridge is expected to be completed in late Autumn, with the lifts entering into service towards the new year and the removal of the existing bridge planned for February 2024.
PROGRAMME FACTS AND FIGURES
- Number of hours for off-site design & fabrication of lift shaft & bridge steelwork (approx.)
- Total weight of steelwork fabricated and installed
- Number of steel components in structure
- Number of fixing bolts used
- Number of lifts to complete the steel installation