South Yorkshire Times, September 22, 1951
By Floodlight Five Sunday Repairs to Conisbrough Rail Bridge
A special bus service, operated by the Yorkshire traction Company, ran between Mexborough and Doncaster by way of Denaby and Conisbrough, on Sunday, carrying railway passengers whose journey had been interrupted because of railway bridge repairs at Conisbrough.
The buses bore printed slips bearing the words “Emergency Service.”
Owing to reconstruction of the approach spans two Bold Bridge between Conisbrough and Doncaster on five successive Sundays commencing from September 16 until October 40s, inclusive, British Railways (Eastern Region) announced that there will be alterations to train services between Sheffield and Doncaster, and also between Penistone and Doncaster. All local train services between these points will terminate or start from Mexborough, and a special bus service will be provided between Doncaster Station and Mexborough Station.
The 9.30 a.m. and 4.30 p.m. trains from Liverpool to Hull, and the 9.20 a.m. and 4.25 p.m. trains from Hull to Liverpool will be diverted via Retford. A bus service at Sheffield and Doncaster will provide connections for Rotherham and Mexborough passengers.
The work, to be carried out under the supervision of the District Engineer, Sheffield, is the renewal of the four cast iron approach spans to Bow Bridge, which carries the railway lines over the river Don between Conisbrough and Doncaster. The existing steel span over the river is in excellent condition and does not require replacement.
Reconstruction will necessitate taking out very heavy and elaborate cast iron girders and replacing them with a solid superstructure of precast concrete beams weighing up to 16 tons each.
So that delays to urgent call and freight traffic may be reduced to a minimum, work will he carried out on Sundays, commencing at midnight on the Saturday until midnight on Sunday. Men will work in shifts, and during hours of darkness the site will be illuminated by electric floodlighting specially installed.
Work commenced on Sunday, and will continue each Sunday until October 14th, when it is anticipated the new structure will be completed. The first stage will consist of the removal of the ballast under the track and its replacement by temporary supports, then Sunday by Sunday with the use of heavy breakdown cranes, sections of the old cast iron bridge will be taken out and concrete spans will be substituted. Finally, when all the spans have been completed, the approaches will be relaid with fresh ballast, the permanent way replaced and normal speeds will be restored.
The removal of the old bridge will provide some 150 tons of cast iron for scrap, and the substitution of concrete beams effect a considerable saving in the steel which would otherwise have had to be used. The concrete beams, 40 in number and each 33 feet long, weighing a total of 600 tons, were manufactured at the Newton Heath (Manchester) Concrete Factory of British Railways.