The East Staircase approach.
The new footbridge just north of Bromley North Station opened today in the afternoon. I noticed that the barriers had been removed and so went to go and try out the new structure. The weather was harsh and rain and wind battered me mercilessly. Three engineers were still there when I arrived,
"You're our first customer," says one and it was therefore with a mild sense of 'making history' that I climbed the East staircase, which goes to the side, giving passive provision for a lift to be installed in the future. From this staircase the structure looks quite graceful and impressive as it sweeps over to the other parapet; the span is quite long. I, accompanied by the engineers/ construction workers made my way over the deck, which is 2 metres wide and the wall the height that allowed me to see over the edge (just about). When I reached the other side though, I noticed that the lights on the west staircase were attached by bits of scaffolding. The engineering informed me that the entire staircase was temporary. He pointed at two large holes in the ground,
"The Staircase was going to go there but the local residents (points at a garden next to the holes) complained," Now the West staircase is to built further east, fouling the path of the former goods yard throat. It will be built after Christmas sometime, although I didn't get round to asking him whether the work will necessitate the closure of the footbridge again, or whether pedestrians could continue to use the temporary west staircase for the duration of the work.
Whist we talked a class 465 (4-carraige Networker) came in and out again on the rapid 3tph timetable, the unit laid on, no doubt to reduce the chance of the service failing in the extreme weather.
More photos of the new bridge can be found in the Gallery
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
The footbridge to the north of Bromley North Station has been replaced.
The original footbridge (below) was built to replace a level crossing in the early 20th century and was quite expansive in length, intrestingly, it's replacement- a smart green structure, is the same length, despite the fact that it need not be due to the fact that the frieght tracks which the orginal footbridge spans were removed in the 1960s. One supposes that either it was cheaper to construct a longer deck then construct a new base or that Network Rail is keeping the option of using the former goods yard as stabling sidings for a future extension of the DLR, Bakerloo or Overground. The latter option seems less likely now that Network Rail is planning on developing the former goods yard.
Of course, the passing of the old footbridge is sad, expecially given it's elegance and also it's see through wall allowing small children like myself 7 years ago to see the trains! However the old footbridge had uneven steps and the structure was quite old and possibly loosing it's structural integrity, it is good to see Network Rail investing in keeping the infrastructure of the railway in order. The new footbridge is aesthetically pleasing and will no doubt last for another hundred years or so. For more images of the footbridge replacement click on this link.