The line that caters for travel between South Croydon and Uckfield is set to receive major infrastructural upgrades that will see passengers safely travelling over the Oxted Viaduct for decades to come after £10.5m worth of construction works are completed.
The Oxted Viaduct was built in 1881 and the bridge carries two railway lines over the A25 road and the River Eden on the line running from South Croydon to Uckfield. Since the summer of 2020, engineers have been working tirelessly to repair to repair, strengthen and maintain the historic Victorian structure.
Katie Frost, Network Rail’s Sussex route director, which also covers Surrey and South London, said:
“The Oxted Viaduct is one of the most iconic railway structures in the south of England. Working on it and protecting such an important part of railway heritage has been a real honour.
“It also remains a vital piece of the operational railway today, so while it was great to protect our heritage, it was also essential to keep lines open and trains running safely and reliably.
“A massive thank you to our railway neighbours who have had to put up with noise from our work over the past few years.”
Chris Fowler, customer services director for Southern, said:
"This is good news for our customers and for the many admirers of this iconic Victorian viaduct."
The completed works have seen major infrastructural upgrades to maintain the stability of the viaduct, seeing the replacement of twelve roller bearings, which support the viaduct’s weight and allow the bridge to expand in the heat of summer and contract in the cold of winter. This portion of the work saw the viaduct’s 175 tonne supporting columns being lifted before sliding bearings in place for stability.
The supporting columns and arches have seen brickwork repairs creating a nicer aesthetic for the viaduct, accompanied by steelwork cleaning which stripped it to bare metal before being treated for protective paint works. The old timber bridge deck was also replaced with new easier to maintain materials.
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