Barmouth Viaduct upgrades enter final stages as Network Rail test lift metallic span

Barmouth Viaduct upgrades enter final stages as Network Rail test lift metallic span

Preparation is underway for the final stage of Network Rail’s multi-million-pound refurbishment of the iconic Barmouth Viaduct in North Wales. The work, which will involve replacing and restoring the metallic elements of the Grade II* listed structure, will take place from Saturday 2 September and is expected to last for 13 weeks.

The restoration work is part of a £30 million investment in the Cambrian Coast railway line. The aim is to improve the resilience and reliability of the line for passengers and freight users.

The work on the metallic elements of the viaduct is particularly challenging, as the two old spans weigh 160 tonnes each. To remove them, Network Rail has developed a unique delivery and installation system that involves using more than 16 jacks and six rail trailers. Network Rail has already spent £30 million on replacing the timber frames during phase one.

160 tonne metallic span moves into place

A mock manoeuvre of the operation was recently carried out to streamline the process and ensure safety.

Nick Millington, route director for Network Rail Wales & Borders, said: “We’re delighted to begin the final, and most visually exciting, stage of our multi-million-pound restoration of Barmouth Viaduct.

“A huge part of this phase of work has been planning the replacement of the 160-tonne metal spans, a feat of engineering that has involved months of preparation to develop a unique delivery and installation system. We have also worked closely with our partners at Natural Resources Wales to ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect the delicate ecology of the Mawddach Estuary.

“As the railway and footpath across the viaduct will need to be closed for the duration of our work to ensure everyone’s safety, I would like to thank everyone for their patience as we carry out this vital work, which will protect this important and iconic rail link for years to come.”

Colin Lea, Planning and Performance Director at Transport for Wales, said: “This investment in one of the most iconic railway bridges in the world by our partners Network Rail will secure the future of the Cambrian coast line for decades to come.

“This vital improvement work to replace the metallic spans does mean train services will need to be replaced with road transport until early December, and customers should check journey times before they travel.”

The Barmouth Viaduct is a 154-year-old railway bridge that spans the Mawddach Estuary. It is a Grade II* listed structure and is one of the most iconic landmarks in North Wales.

Photo and Video credit: Network Rail 

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