Rail franchises operators & contracts

05.06.20

Multi-million-pound investment for Cumbria Coast Line coastal viaduct

A major investment to improve a crucial costal viaduct will start next month to make journeys faster and more reliable for Cumbrian Coast line passengers.  

A £2m Great North Rail Project investment will see wooden timbers and 600 metres of rail renewed on the 18-span Eskmeals viaduct which carries the railway over the Risk Esk estuary.

Eskmeals viaduct was built in 1868 and still has its original wrought iron girders, which were strengthened in the 1920s, and its red sandstone piers which support the structure in the estuary itself.

When the new track is installed on the important link between Ravenglass and Bootle, speed restrictions imposed on train can be lifted meaning faster journeys for passengers.

The improvement work means the viaduct will be closed to trains for eight days between Saturday 20th and Monday 29th of June.

Rail replacement buses will be in operation between Millom and Sellafield.

Work will also take place to upgrade walkways and handrails across the viaduct which are used by railway staff, enabling further maintenance work on the structure to take place more easily and safely.

Route Director for Network Rail’s North West route, Phil James, said: “This significant Great North Rail Project investment at Eskmeals viaduct will ensure that the Cumbrian Coast line remains safe and reliable for passenger and freight trains for many more years to come.

“We know that this is the second time in a month that part of this line has been closed, and I want to thank passengers for their patience while work takes place.

“In line with government advice around coronavirus, we’re continuing to ask passengers to avoid public transport if at all possible and to only travel by train where your journey is essential.”

Regional Director at Northern, Chris Jackson, said: “The viaduct at Eskmeals is iconic and an important part of the railway heritage in Cumbria. But it’s more than that, it’s also a vital part of the current rail network.

“The viaduct has stood for more than 150 years and the improvements being carried out by Network Rail will future-proof it for generations to come.”

Image: Network Rail 

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