The UK’s only sliding canal bridge has been improved, ensuring trains can cross safely for years to come.

The bridge over the Stainforth and Keadby Canal, near Scunthorpe in the Midlands has had its wooden track beams replaced with metal supports. And Network Rail has installed 200m of new white rails which are better able to withstand high summer temperatures.

Down in the water, Network Rail has strengthened the canal wall with a 24.5 tonne pre-cast concrete slab. Engineers drained the canal with a limpet dam for the duration of the project.

There has been a bridge over the canal since the 1860s, and it was converted into a sliding bridge in 1925.

Network Rail, which owns, repairs and develops railway infrastructure in England, Scotland and Wales, completed the nine-day task in the second half of February.