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Fairfield Street Railway Bridge (1960)
Fairfield Street, by Piccadilly Station, Manchester, UK
Fairfield Street Railway Bridge (1960)
associated engineer
British Rail
date  1959 - 1960
era  Modern  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SJ847977
ICE reference number  HEW 2680
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
The narrower of the two railway bridges over Fairfield Street near Piccadilly Station is a modern replacement for four of the original wrought iron arch bridges of the former Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway. At this point the line is sweeping in to join what was the Manchester & Birmingham Railway, now the main line, which is served by the other Fairfield Street bridge.
The newer bridge crosses both Fairfeld and Carston Streets at a severe skew angle, and Cotswold Street almost at right angles. At the time of construction, it was thought to be the longest prestressed concrete span to carry railway loading. It was built to accommodate the extended island platforms (numbers 13 and 14) of Piccadilly Station during the 25kV overhead electrification of the main line.
The principal section of the bridge is over Fairfield Street, where the span is 51.2m supported by four concrete columns. One of the columns has a ‘fixed’ Meehanite bearing and the others have concrete hinges carrying rubber bearing pads.
The structure has four systems of prestressing. First, the main longitudinal steel reinforcement in the webs and bottom slab is 240 strands of 28.6mm diameter wire, with an additional 40 strands in the bottom slab to reduce the primary tensile stresses. This system gives the minimum number of individual tendons that could be anchored in a confined space without too many hollow ducts near the anchorages.
Second, there are ten Freyssinet longitudinal steel capping cables each of 12 wires 7mm in diameter over the supports. These require the least duct space near the anchorages and have concrete anchors.
Third, is the Magnel-Blaton transverse steel prestressing. This has 83 cables of 56 wires 7mm in diameter and 64 cables of 40 wires in the bottom, plus ten cables of 56 wires 7mm in diameter and 52 cables of 32 wires in the top. The system needs anchorages that can be buried in the surrounding concrete, which at the time could not be done with large diameter strands.
Fourth, there are 31.8mm diameter Macalloy bars at an angle in the webs to act as shear reinforcement, in addition to mild steel stirrups and similar Macalloy bars in the diaphragms. These provide a simple way to prestress a short length of steel without anchorage slip.
The island platform, which also carries a luggage lift, footbridge and stairway is a hollow concrete slab supported at four points.
Chief engineers: A.N. Butland, J. Taylor Thompson
Assistant engineer: Frank Turton
New works officer: A. Lloyd Owen
Research: PD and AJD
bibliography
"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
Location

Fairfield Street Railway Bridge (1960)