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Last Updated: Sunday, 23 December 2007, 11:43 GMT
Rail delays as station is closed
The 120-year-old dilapidated bridge
The Victorian-era bridge has not been in use for years
Liverpool Street station, which lies in the heart of the City of London, has been closed over the Christmas period as a Victorian-era bridge is torn down.

It means delays of over an hour to rail journeys to and from eastern counties with buses replacing some trains.

The bridge needs to be demolished as it lies in the path of the planned extension of the East London Tube route, Transport for London (TfL) said.

The station closed on Sunday and services will resume from 2 January.

The 120-year-old bridge, which is built of cast-iron deck beams with brick jack arches, has been in disuse for years.

Engineers carried out a survey on the bridge, known as GE19, and found it unsafe and expensive to maintain, TfL said.

Artist's impression of the new bridge
A modern steel bridge will be in place by May 2008

A historical survey found the bridge was constructed in the 19th Century to serve the new Liverpool Street station, which was then the main station for London.

The bridge weighs about 9,000 tonnes and the brickwork will be reused at other sites following the demolition.

The demolition will cost about 2m and is part of a 1.4bn investment into the rebuilding and expansion of the train route.

A modern steel bridge will replace GE19 in May 2008.

Julie Dixon from TfL said: "This work is vital to the completion of the East London Line."

TfL said it chose to tear down the bridge during the Christmas period as passenger numbers are 40% to 80% lower than usual, but people travelling will be offered alternative routes.

Commuters are being urged to check with their local rail companies for details of replacement bus services over the period.



SEE ALSO
Victoria Tube gets 509m upgrade
24 Apr 07 |  London

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