France: Calais' Mollien bridge rebuilt to improve rail freight

France: Calais' Mollien bridge rebuilt to improve rail freight

The replacement, which includes a new steel deck, is a key step in modernizing Calais' rail infrastructure and supporting sustainable freight.

The historic Mollien Bridge in Calais is to be replaced, marking a key moment in the modernization of the Calais Main Line. This monumental operation, led by SNCF Réseau, is a key element in the wider initiative to facilitate the expansion of rail freight in line with the growth of the Port of Calais.

The project represents a major challenge, from the new bridge's design to its construction and installation. The new bridge, which is an integral part of the architectural heritage of Calais, has been approved by the Architecte des Bâtiments de France, an authority responsible for the preservation and restoration of the city's heritage. Critical elements of the bridge, including the 19th-century pilasters and the lower structure, have been faithfully reproduced. The new metal structure also pays homage to the spirit of its predecessor. 

To meet the unique technical challenge of this project, SNCF Réseau has teamed up with the leaders of the French and European railway industry. Bouygues Travaux publics Régions France, renowned for its expertise in highly technical civil engineering, is overseeing the project, including the manufacturing of pilasters and the lower part of the deck. Berthold, a French company based in Meuse, specializes in metal engineering structures and is responsible for producing the new steel deck. Sarens, a Belgian company with a focus on heavy load handling, is coordinating the transportation by barge and the means of moving the bridge during the critical operation.

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