Tay Rail Bridge

The Tay Rail Bridge, spanning the Tay Estuary is the longest rail bridge in Britain, spanning 2.75m and is a key structure in the Scottish railway route.

The £7,500,000 five year project is Network Scaffoldings largest project to date. Works commenced in February 2012 on the land spans (80-83) whilst the river spans (12-27) started in May 2012 and is due for completion in early 2014, with the high spans (28-40) following on and due for completion in late 2016.

Within the early planning stage, different systems were reviews to identify the safest, quickest most cost effective system to use. It was decided that the conventional tube and fitting was not suitable and would take considerably longer than a system scaffold.

The first main challenge within the planning process was how access would be gained to each span of the 2.75m long bridge. To service the main spans, it was decided, after heavy planning that temporary, heavy duty loading platform, erected every four spans would be erected. Road railers were then used every night within possession to transport up to 40 tonnes of materials to the work place, ready to commence work in the morning.

The piers would be accessed differently, using heavy duty barges, loading up each morning and transported to the base of the pier.

Due to the location of the project, the encapsulation around the membrane of the scaffold could act like a sail and impose significant loading of the structure, to combat the concerns, each encapsulation sheet was attached to vertical runners which enable it to be retracted like roller blinds in the event of significantly high winds.

The project is currently running ahead of program, much to the delight of the client and all interested parties; this is down to the intense pre planning in choosing the right system for this challenging project.