SCX on the right track with Network Rail

17th June 2021


Innovative engineering firm SCX Special Projects is at the heart of a remarkable technology project set to revolutionise how rail footbridges are built across the UK’s rail network.

SCX, renowned for its ‘sliding pitch’ at Premier League Tottenham Hotspur’s iconic stadium and the two concertina roofs over the show courts at the All England Lawn Tennis Club at Wimbledon, has teamed up with more world-class names to develop an environmentally friendly, easily accessible and cost effective adaptable footbridge for Network Rail.

An artist's impression of a completed AVA bridge at a station

Image: An artist's impression of a completed AVA bridge at a station

SCX, based at Wincobank, Sheffield, has designed a modular passenger lift system for the footbridge that overcomes many weaknesses of traditional passenger lifts, while also solving complex and time-consuming installation challenges. The new footbridge design has been christened AVA, chosen for the letters that echo its modular, triangular design.

Each AVA lift module can be manufactured in SCX’s workshops as a single unit, shipped to site on a trailer, and simply lifted into position and attached to the bridge. The design makes lift maintenance easier, while also tackling the issue of fragile door mechanisms – the number one cause of out-of-order lifts – to keep the rail network accessible to all, including disabled users, people with prams and pushchairs and cyclists.


Image: Danny Pickard of SCX Special Projects

Danny Pickard, Sales Director at SCX says:

“We have been working with some great British companies to deliver the AVA adaptable bridge for Network Rail. By making the AVA lift system entirely modular, the installation process is greatly simplified and can be performed anywhere and everywhere – from a remote rural station to a big rail hub,”

“It firmly establishes us in the rail and infrastructure sectors at an important time when HS2 is on the horizon. The AVA footbridge can be built for half the cost of a traditional bridge and in a quarter of the time. This could save millions for Network Rail while improving access for thousands of British rail travellers. Beyond that, the design also has relevance to footbridges over the road network, at transport interchanges, service stations, and more.”


Network Rail adds:

“Created by a world class engineering, manufacturing and construction team, and designed to be different, the configurable nature of the bridge design means that AVA can fit any station, anywhere.”

“Construction of the test station is well underway and, once that phase is finished, the first AVA footbridge installations will commence on the UK’s national rail network.”

This Network Rail initiative is backed by Innovate UK, and saw SCX working alongside an illustrious team featuring Expedition Engineering Ltd, Walker Construction UK Ltd, X-TREME SYSTEMS LIMITED, MTC - Manufacturing Technology Centre, Quantum Infrastructure, Hawkins Brown Architects, Norman Foster Foundation, and Atelier Ten.

The new design reduces the cost of production, increases efficiency and flexibility, and reduces carbon throughout, compared with traditional bridge construction. The footbridge’s modular construction uses a light and robust stainless-steel frame and faceted cladding, which not only makes AVA beautiful and low maintenance, but also allows the bridge to easily span different widths of track.

The AVA footbridge and SCX’s modular AVA lift are now undergoing trials at a test train station in Widmerpool, Nottinghamshire.

View the AVA Bridge dedicated website

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SCX Special Projects Ltd

Roman Ridge Road, Sheffield, S9 1GA, United Kingdom

t:  +44 (0)114 262 6199