The Britannia Bridge in North Wales has been illuminated blue to say thank you to NHS staff and other key workers – including frontline railway colleagues – who are continuing to operate a safe and reliable railway to support essential passenger journeys, and keep freight moving across the network.
The iconic Network Rail-owned bridge which spans the Menai Strait between Anglesey and the mainland carrying the railway line from Chester to Holyhead, was illuminated at 8pm on Thursday 23 April to coincide with the nation’s weekly ‘Clap for Carers’.
The lighting of the Grade II listed structure was supported by the Welsh Government – responsible for the A55 road also carried by the bridge – and rail industry partners from Transport for Wales and British Transport Police.
Originally designed by railway pioneer Robert Stephenson, Britannia Bridge recently celebrated its 170th anniversary. Completed in 1850, it was devastated by fire in 1970 and subsequently rebuilt as a combined road and rail bridge, using the masonry supports and iconic stone lions from Stephenson’s original structure.
Network Rail worked with a specialist team from Enlightened Ltd to deliver the illumination. Following the example set at Glasgow Central Station, the Royal Albert Bridge in Plymouth and Bristol Temple Meads station, this is the first-time rail infrastructure in Wales has been lit to mark Clap for Carers.
Bill Kelly, Network Rail’s Route Director for Wales and Borders, said: “We are really proud of NHS staff and all key workers on the frontline against Coronavirus. We wanted to do something special to show our solidarity with them, as well as paying tribute to rail workers across Wales and Borders who have responded to this national emergency so magnificently.
“Passenger numbers are very low – which is fantastic as it means people are staying home to help save lives – but we continue to have a vital role: supporting essential journeys and moving freight across the network that is helping keep our supermarkets and pharmacies stocked with food and medicines.”