The restoration works on the Barmouth Viaduct are nearing project completion as the railway and footbridge across the Grade II* listed bridge reopened on Saturday 10 December. Network Rail are currently preparing for the final stages of metallic restorations to be completed over 2023.
Network Rail and contractors Alun Griffiths have successfully conducted a plethora of requisite upgrades to the Barmouth Viaduct throughout 2022, coming as part of the structures biggest and most ambitious refurbishment since its inception. The £30m pounds that have been invested into the project will futureproof the iconic structure to serve the community as it has done for the previous 150 years.
Nick Millington, interim route director at Network Rail Wales and Borders, said:
"We’d like to thank the local community for bearing with us this autumn and winter as we carried out the latest stage of this essential restoration project.
“We’ll be returning in 2023 to replace the metallic elements of the bridge, which will secure the future of this important rail link for many years to come.”
Over the span of two four-week closures this autumn and winter, engineering teams have worked tirelessly day and night to strengthen and replace timber beans, supplying foundation support to the piles and the metallic straps which hold the structure of the viaduct together.
Due to the age and heritage of the structure, the engineering teams involved with the project had to ensure that materials were replaced with like-for-like components to retain the original aesthetics. This can be seen through the pedestrian walkway renovation where timbers were replaced with Greenheart timbers – a harder wood that maintains the original aesthetic, whilst providing durability that was not available during the original construction process.
The closure of the railway allowed Network Rail to also upgrade a kilometre of track through the nearby Tywyn station, with Barmouth Station’s canopy was also refurbished. These works were conducted outside of the peak summer tourist season to help minimise disruption to the local community, with the viaduct reopening during October half term.
The viaduct reopened with a normal train service on Saturday 10th December, affording residents the ability to enjoy the spectacular wooden structure and its surrounding natural beauty this festive period.
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