National Electrification Programme (NEP) Bridge Reconstructions

UK-wide reconstruction of road over rail bridges required for electrification of the railway

Project outline 

This project is to reconstruct rail bridges to provide the increased gauge clearance needed for the electrification of the railway.  This includes demolition of existing bridges and installation of new, slimmer-profile bridges.

Key challenges

All works to each bridge are typically undertaken in one 54-hour possession.  So far Murphy has undertaken over 40 demolition and reconstruction projects to date, with a further portfolio of over 70 reconstructions planned well into 2017.

Project delivery

Murphy is undertaking all bridge reconstructions in the role of principal contractor, using our own Principle Contractors License (PCL).  We are Link-up and UBDV approved for demolition, clearance work and bridge construction.   

To reduce the risk to the railway and number of possessions required, we are making use of modular bridge reconstructions, off-site manufactured brick walls, parapets and wing walls.  This form of construction means reduced programme lengths, reduced time on site, reduced costs and road closures, improved health and safety, and increased quality.

Regular design meetings, which often include key members of the supply chain, ensure that lessons learnt during the schemes can be applied throughout the programme.

Programmes are arranged so alternate packages of work are either at design or construction phase, so any issues are not carried over into the next package of design.  This process has greatly reduced re-design at construction phase.


Our research and development teams toured Europe to identify innovative new construction methods, and worked with our design partners to develop Slim Deck Bridges.  With these, we replace the existing decks which are of wrought iron construction with high tensile steel I-Beams.  This stronger material means we can achieve the required gauge for clearance, whilst maintaining the road levels of the existing bridges.  

Murphy regularly uses Self-Propelled Mobile Transporters (SPMT’s).  This method reduces the chance of overruns due to poor weather, and can access sites more easily than traditional cranes.

Due to a culture of continuous improvement, and innovations developed as part of this programme we have been able to reduce the 54 reconstruction period to 30 hours, and where necessary 16 hours.

Key facts

  • the programme comprises over 110 demolition and construction projects
  • around 70% of the build is being manufactured off-site
  • incorporates new Slim Deck Bridges; stronger slimmer bridges developed with our design partners


Network Rail


UK wide

Completion Date

June 2017



Capabilities Demonstrated

  • Bridges
  • Engineering
  • Design

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