Going with the Flow: a railway footbridge fit for the future

Flow bridge visualisation

Network Rail wants to replace rural level crossings with bridges. A team has come up with an alternative to steel that is 40% cheaper to build with less embodied carbon

A whole genre of online videos is dedicated to heart-stopping near-misses between pedestrians and trains on level crossings. Some show a train missing a pedestrian by millimetres, but what we do not see are the incidents where people fail to make it across.

There were five pedestrian deaths in 2022/23 and countless more near-misses. Network Rail has a policy of releasing footage, shot by onboard and fixed cameras, in a bid to drive home the message that level crossings, if used without care, are very dangerous.

The network operator has a 10-year strategy to improve level crossing safety with the goal of eliminating accidents on the UK’s mainline network. With 6,000 level crossings across the network, it has quite a challenge on its hands

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