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Plans unveiled to extend life of historic rail bridge

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Work to strengthen and repair a bridge which has carried trains across the River Thames for 150 years is due to begin later this month.

Battersea Rail Bridge, also known as Cremorne Bridge, will be refurbished by Network Rail to extend its life expectancy by another 100 years.

The bridge, which links Battersea with Chelsea on the West London Line, first opened in 1863 and provides an important transport link across the River Thames.

Initial work on the Grade II listed structure will begin in February and will include repairing, strengthening and repainting the structure.

Mark Ruddy, Network Rail’s route managing director for Sussex, said: “Battersea Rail Bridge is a historic structure that provides a vital rail link between north and south London.

“There are many challenges to overcome, and it is a complex engineering project, but the improvements will mean the bridge will continue to be used for at least another 100 years.”

Preparatory work on the bridge will start later this month ahead of the main work beginning in April.

The majority of the work will take place while trains continue to use the bridge and will be completed in spring 2014.

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