Major refurbishment gets in ‘full swing’ at Goole Swing Bridge

June 2, 2023

Goole Swing Bridge is set for a new lease of life following a programme of extensive renovations to the historic structure. 

Work will begin tomorrow (June 3) and will last until until Sunday 2 July in a bid to deliver major upgrades to the 154-year-old bridge, including the renewal of the operating plant, including the hydraulic turning and jacking systems, control system, electricity supply and navigation lights.  

For more than 150 years, Goole Swing Bridge has allowed rail freight, passengers and river users to get to where they’re needed harmoniously. It is one of largest and oldest surviving railway swing bridges in the country, reliably transporting rail passengers between Doncaster and Hull, while allowing safe passage for boats travelling along the River Ouse. 

The bridge still operates using much of its original 1860’s hydraulic machinery, owing to its Grade II* listed status. As one of Network Rail’s oldest signalling structures, these upgrades are needed to make sure it can keep rail and river traffic flowing seamlessly well into the future. 

This essential work will result in changes to Northern services between Doncaster and Hull. Passengers are advised to check before travelling either via National Rail Enquiries or Northern’s website.  

James Wright, Senior Portfolio Manager at Network Rail, said: “This bridge has reliably served passengers travelling between Doncaster and Hull for over 150 years and is rightly considered one of the finest swing bridges in Britain, so I’m incredibly excited to see it benefit from much needed upgrades. 

“The crucial project will ensure that the structure can continue to operate safely and reliably, bringing it into the 21st century whilst retaining its rich heritage. I’d like to thank passengers for their patience whilst we push ahead this work and I look forward to the improved bridge reopening next month.” 

Tony Baxter, Regional Director at Northern, said: “Improvements like these at Goole are essential and we’d like to thank our customers in advance for their patience while the work is carried out.  

“Replacement bus services will be running between Goole and Hull and we urge passengers to check before they travel.” 

Further work to refurbish and recommission the bridge’s turning engines will be carried out later this year. 

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