Refurbishing a historical footbridge
Bodmin was the most important town in Cornwall when the Cornwall Railway opened on May 4, 1859. Bodmin station got a footbridge a year later in 1860 which has given easier access for visitors to the National Trust’s Lanhydrock estate.
Connecting Penzance and Plymouth, the rail line is served most by Great Western Railway and is a popular albeit rural route. The station is surrounded by woodland in the Glynn Valley through which the River Fowey runs.
Deemed a historic part of Bodmin station, the footbridge is well used but had fallen into a state of disrepair over the years. For Taziker, it was vitally important to keep it open whilst the works were carried out.
As part of the £188k project, our engineers reviewed the state of the footbridge and discovered exposed timber that needed to be prepared, repaired and painted and in other areas the timber was rotten and required replacing. All exposed structured steel-work had to be mechanically prepared with M24 paint system applied and all downpipes and guttering had to be replaced.
The team replaced the entire platform one staircase and as part of the improvement works, installed a new anti-slip walkway.
The Taziker team took an accurate template of the new staircase and then replicated the wooden structure at the regional compound in Saltash, Plymouth over a two day period. Once complete it was dismantled and transported to Bodmin where the existing staircase was removed and the new one installed.
The substructure remained in place whilst our team of engineers replaced rotten timbers alongside stringers, risers and treds. For public safety, we also levelled existing wooden steps with epoxy resin.
The work was carried out in one night under night time possession, managed by our in-house COSS and Possession Planning team, to keep the bridge operational during the day.
We also managed to replace the staircase on platform one without the need for a temporary footbridge. Taziker had a contingency staircase ready to be put in place if required though the new structure was a perfect fit and slotted into place as planned.
At the end of each shift, our engineers made sure the structure was made safe due to the fact it was opened to members of the public.
Alongside the repairs, replacement and redecoration work carried out, we removed old timber windows and replaced all glazing with UPVC – a first for Taziker. We also replaced additional cladding outside of the brief to make it more aseptically pleasing. This was of upmost importance to the project to honour and retain the heritage of the bridge – with all timber replaced like for like.
The Taziker team used the M24 paint system to all exposed mechanically prepared structural steel-work with colours confirmed by Network Rail to match the existing entrance.
Once cured, the new and improved timber and steel-work is designed to last 15 years before the next major maintenance programme is due.
Taziker’s whole approach to the project was tailored with the utmost precision in order to deliver the programme safely, effectively and on time.
Learning & Innovation
For Taziker, the restoration programme involved a major joinery project in replacing the staircase. It was the first time that such extensive joinery works have been carried out in house at the regional office compound in Saltash, Plymouth. The work was templated in house before being fabricated at Taziker and then moved to Bodmin Station for placement.
During the repair, replacement and redecoration, the timber windows had vastly deteriorated and needed replacing. We replaced all windows and glazing with UPVC. We carried out the installation ourselves, working with UPV for the first time.
For Taziker, several elements of this project were new; working with UPVC for the first time and undertaking a major joinery operation in house for the staircase replacement. Alongside this, we undertook all the work without the need of subcontractor. We believe Taziker has carried out this work confidently and successfully.
Bodmin Station footbridge is over 150 years old and Taziker’s approach to restoring the structure was tailored with the utmost precision in order to deliver the project respectfully, safely, effectively and on time. Client Network Rail and Great Western Railway were very happy with the finished result.
The scope of the works included:
- Work was carried out at night, removing the need for a temporary footbridge when replacing the staircase and keeping the bridge operational during the day
- All rotten timber was replaced like for like to maintain the heritage of the bridge
- Major joinery works were undertaken in house for the first time in the replacement of the staircase
- All exposed structural steel-work mechanically prepared with M24 paint system matching existing colours for continuity