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Hyde Road Railway Bridge
Hyde Road (A57), Longsight, Manchester, UK
Hyde Road Railway Bridge
associated engineer
British Rail
date  1958 - August 1959
era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SJ862967
ICE reference number  HEW 2682
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
A prestressed precast reinforced concrete bridge carrying the Manchester Branch of the West Coast Main Line, the busiest long-distance main line in Britain. The skew bridge was rolled into position in three pieces and connected in situ, allowing the railway to be closed for only a short time.
Hyde Road Bridge was built during the 25kV overhead electrification and modernisation of the main line, including realignment of the tracks into the Longsight locomotive sheds. It crosses the road at a skew angle of 65 degrees.
The bridge replaced an 1840 wrought iron box girder bridge (No. 30) designed by George Watson Buck, engineer of the Manchester & Birmingham Railway. The original structure was supported on two rows of cast iron columns. It had two main external girders on a 38.4m skew span and two smaller internal girders with three skew spans of 6.7m, 22.6m and 6.7m. There were cross girders and rail bearers to carry the six tracks between the longitudinal girders.
The new structure is a two span bridge with a continuous slab superstructure and a 1.5m wide reinforced concrete central pier. The design was chosen so that Hyde Road could be made into a dual carriageway with two 7.3m wide roadways and two 1.8m wide footways.
The site is congested, and one of the main sewers had to be diverted to allow construction of the central pier. A public house on the Manchester side projects beyond the face of the abutment wall, which complicated the rolling-in operation.
The deck slab is divided into three parts longitudinally, each part carrying two rail tracks. The effective skew span of one half of each of the three parts is 19.8m and the slab depth is 610mm.
The three part slabs are made from factory precast units pretensioned transversely top and bottom with 12.7mm diameter steel strands. Temporary formwork was erected over Hyde Road adjacent to the bridge’s final position so that the units could be assembled into their three parts. Units were placed 114mm apart and the joints were filled with high strength concrete.
The structure is prestressed longitudinally by Magnel-Blaton cables each of 72 wires 7mm in diameter, which were threaded through ducts and then grouted. The edge stiffening concrete is prestressed in a similar manner with Magnel-Blaton cables of 64 7mm diameter wires.
Chief engineers: A.N. Butland, J. Taylor Thompson
Assistant engineer: Frank Turton
New works officer: A. Lloyd Owen
Research: PD and AJD
"Three Prestressed Concrete Railway Bridges" by Frank Turton
Paper 6537, ICE Proceedings, Vol. 20, September 1961, pp.1-18
and subsequent Discussion pp.317-330

Hyde Road Railway Bridge