The Story of Niffany bridge aka Mr Prince versus the Iron Horse

Before I was a teacher I was an engineering project manager for a few companies in Derby.

At one company I had to project manage the building of a railway bridge near Skipton at a place called Niffany. I had 10 weeks to get the bits of the bridge to Skipton for a Friday night so it could have a train running over it Monday morning.

I had a few of the things you need for a project I knew what I had to do - build a bridge, at a price that had been agreed, for a cetain date. So I had a plan and I knew what the deliverables were- they wanted a bridge on a certain day .

I had resources. I had a skilled factory of hairy welders and platers who were good at making things (the comapny I worked for had been around for 50 years).

I had a design from Network Rail for the bridge and a long complicated specification about what the bridge must and must not do.

The bridge was to be built in 8 sections that would go on a lorry and assembled on site over one weekend.

This was one of the worst jobs I ever project managed, here is what went wrong;