BLOG: Topcon and Precision Geomatics Ltd help get historic railway bridge back on track
The accommodation bridge at Brusselton has been a landmark on the landscape since 1825. It lies on the Brusselton West Incline, part of the original Stockton & Darlington Railway and, along with the adjacent embankments, has received listed monument status from Historic England. But when vandals stole part of the stone from it in July 2014, it left the bridge unsafe and its future equally unstable.
To secure a future for the railway bridge and listed monument, a group of local residents and train enthusiasts formed the Brusselton Incline Group, and began efforts to restore the structure and clear the incline of all vegetation.
The Brusselton Incline Group has worked closely with the monument owners - Durham County Council – which has now secured funding for the rebuilding.
Chair of the Brusselton Incline Group, Trevor Horner, said: “As a former railway engineer I offered my services to supervise the restoration, along with another engineer, Paul Harle, who is also a member of our Group. From the start it was realised that a proper assessment of the damage was necessary and should include a full laser scan.”
To complete the full survey, Ashley Bulmer, who works for Precision Geomatics Ltd – a specialist supplier of surveying and mass data collection equipment - used the Topcon GLS-2000 scanner.
Ashley said: “I used the perfect equipment to complete the survey very quickly and with utmost precision. The Topcon scanner is very flexible, easy to use and captured every detail of the form and geometry of the bridge which will improve the accuracy of the restoration work.”
Trevor concluded: “The scanner has given us exactly the information we need to get the restoration underway. This information will help engineers to prepare drawings and tender documents as well as act as a record for the future. The Group has been so impressed we are looking at the possibility of using the scanner on other bridges that need attention.
“The mayor of Shildon, Trish Pemberton, has been a great supporter of our Group and she is working towards having the whole of the original Stockton & Darlington Railway’s route opened as a walking and cycling path so there is plenty of scope for more work to be done.”