Port Wings News Network:
Trains started running on the new railway bridge across the Kola River at the 1436-km marker of the Kola-Vyhodnoy stretch in Murmansk region on 28 September 2020.
The bridge-opening ceremony was attended by CEO and Chairman of the Board of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerov, Deputy Minister of Transport of the Russian Federation Vladimir Tokarev, and Governor of Murmansk region Andrey Chibis.
Oleg Belozerov stated: “This railway bridge was built in just 105 days, a unique feat that shows the high level of skills of builders. It is an achievement that will definitely go down in history, and we have something to be proud of. The bridge is unique not only from an engineering point of view: there are no intermediate supports in the river bed, which is good for the environment; there are no obstacles to fish migration. I express my gratitude to everyone who participated in the construction.”
Andrey Chibis stated: “It was a very critical moment for the region, since this railroad was not only a lifeline for the city, but it also ensured the stable operation of our largest enterprises and plants. As a result of well-coordinated work, we were able to quickly restore railway travel. An alternative train route to Murmansk was organized within 18 days, and today we are opening a new reliable bridge, built in record time. I would like to express my gratitude to JSC Russian Railways, the constructions workers, and the Ministry of Transport. This is a high-quality line of particular importance for the economy of the entire Murmansk region.”
A freight train was the first to cross the new railway bridge. The design and survey work for the construction of the new railway bridge began immediately after the collapse of the old structure, which had been closed for train traffic, due to the flooding of the Kola River on June 1 of this year.
The new bridge was built in 105 days. Unlike the old one, it does not have supports directly in the river bed: they are all on the coast. This eliminates the influence of flood waters on the bridge. In addition, it has a positive effect on the environment: now the riverbed is unobstructed and the supports no longer interfere with fish migration.
The bridge consists of three superstructures: one central one (111.2 m in length) and two smaller ones (18.2 m). The superstructures stand on four reinforced concrete coastal supports on the foundations of 34 bored piles. The total length of the bridge is 158.2 m.
The bridge will feature an innovative monitoring system to warn about possible malfunctions in the structure in real time and forcibly stop traffic at the approaches to the bridge if the sensors detect any security threat. The signal will go to the railway dispatch center and automatically turn on an alarm, stopping trains from crossing the bridge. This is the first system of its kind to be installed on a railway bridge in Russia.
It should be noted that, as the bridge was being constructed, it took the railway workers just 18 days to put together a temporary plan for trains traffic to and from Murmansk. The first freight train traveled the bypass section on June 19. Freight trains carrying necessary goods and export cargo to the port traveled along the railway line, as did several passenger trains departing directly from the Murmansk station. Some of the passenger trains continued departing from Vykhodnoy station, where all the necessary conditions for serving passengers were created, and a regular bus transfer was organized to and from Murmansk.