Latest Rail News

30.07.12

GWML structures awarded protected status

A number of railway structures along the Great Western Main Line have been upgraded or awarded protected status by the English Heritage.

The line was designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, and is widely regarded as a triumph of engineering.

Swindon station, four viaducts, 12 tunnel structures and 26 bridges have been awarded protected status, including Maidenhead bridge, which has been upgraded to the highest Grade 1 status.

Heritage minister John Penrose said: “Our railways and the historic buildings that go along with them are a wonderful and emotive part of our national heritage, symbolising for many of us a sense of romance, history and adventure.

“I am very pleased to be able to give these buildings, bridges and tunnels the extra protection that listing provides.”

Emily Gee, head of listing at English Heritage, said: “It is just such a masterpiece by the mighty Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a railway project of international importance. It is highly engineered, and yet he maintains such a respect for the landscape and history of the places he takes it to.”

Four bridges and three stations that had been extensively altered or rebuilt – Maidenhead, Taplow and Newbury – were not listed.

Patrick Hallgate, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “The Great Western railway is undergoing the biggest investment since it was built in order to deliver faster and more reliable journeys for passengers.

“The results of the consultation by English Heritage, and supported by Network Rail, provide an important step forward in modernising this historic rail route.”

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@nationalhealthexecutive.com

Image c. Gavin Bashford under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported licence.

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