Latest Rail News

06.12.17

Network Rail close to completing £9.5m Shoreham Viaduct upgrade

Major upgrade work on the Shoreham Viaduct in Sussex is set to be completed at Christmas.

The viaduct, which crosses the River Adur, has undergone strengthening work, and has also been painted and repaired in places as part of a £9.5m scheme.

It will now be able to carry all modern trains, including freight, while Network Rail expects the completed viaduct to protect the structure from the Adur estuary’s salt spray for another 25 years.

Shoreham Viaduct  3 c. Network Rail

NR’s head of structures in the south east, Mark Huband, said it was vital to invest in the Victorian-era bridges, tunnels, viaducts and other structures that run across the rail network.

“We hope our work at Shoreham Viaduct demonstrates that we take seriously our responsibility to maintain and preserve these historic structures, not just for the safe and efficient operation of the railway, but also how they look for the local community, those travelling on the railway or visitors to the area,” Huband explained.

“It gives you great respect for those who built this structure more than a century ago and we hope that our work on their bridge does justice to their legacy.”

In addition to structural work, the redundant gas main on the south side of the structure has also been removed, and soon the structure will be revealed without the gas main for the first time since the early 1930s.

The 16-span, 360m-long viaduct has a history of repairs dating back to its construction in 1892 – when it was built to replace the initial timber trestle structure. It also sustained significant damage from bombing in World War II on at least three occasions.

The Adur estuary is a ‘Site of Special Scientific Interest’ meaning a high level of care had to be taken while construction was underway to protect the unique environment.

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