Tay Rail Bridge

The bridge spans 2.75 miles across the Firth of Tay in Scotland and carries the mainline railway between Dundee and Wormit, Fife. This project required a large amount of logistical planning to ensure that staff working on the bridge could access welfare facilities and materials could be delivered to the working location.

Added Value

To streamline the process and to ensure that we were able to carry out the work efficiently, we have set up a small fabrication shop in the compound. This means that any fabrication works that needed to be carried out can be done so on site; reducing the time it takes to transport fabricated materials to site. It also means that fabricated elements can be easily tested to ensure they fit correctly.

As the scaffolding method we chose to use does not disrupt the railways, we only required night-time possessions to transport materials from our compound to the area of the bridge where we were currently carrying out works. This dramatically reduced the disruption to rail users on the main line.

Learning and Innovation

Due to the sheer length of the bridge, we introduced a number of innovative practices to ensure that our staff stayed safe and we could carry out the work efficiently given the logistics involved.

We utilised a ‘tag’ system when working on a previous project where our staff were located at different points along the structure. Prior to going onto the bridge, each member of staff moves their ‘tag’ to the location where they will be working and they remove it when they come off the bridge. This ensures that we know where all personnel are at all times in the event of an emergency.

We also invested in a number of portable anemometers as the conditions on the bridge vary greatly to the conditions in the compound areas on the shore. By being able to accurately assess the wind speed in the working areas, we are in a better position to determine whether the environment is still safe to work in.

Feb 2011 to Present

The scope of the works included:

  • Provision of logistics via RRV, delivering materials and fuel to the structure nightly
  • Confined Space work inside the support piers including Steelwork repairs and Painting
  • Compressed air supplied from the shore via a 3km aluminium air range
  • 1200m2 steelwork prepared and painted per span
  • New Maintainers Walkway installed via Cradles, moved into place using barges

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