Train services between Newcastle and Scotland have been fully restored following the completion of repair work on the historic Plessey Viaduct near Morpeth.
Over the past month, Network Rail engineers have been diligently working to address damage to the viaduct's parapet wall, which was discovered during routine track renewal work in October.
The repair work involved the installation of pre-cast concrete units and steel underpinning to reinforce the parapet of the over 170-year-old structure. Additionally, engineers laid 200 metres of new track and replaced the ballast, the stones that support the rails.
Despite facing adverse weather conditions brought by Storm Babet, the Network Rail team successfully completed the project on schedule, employing innovative work methods to ensure safety and efficiency.
While the viaduct's structural integrity remained intact, the damage necessitated a reduction in train services on the East Coast Main Line, with only one of the two lines over the viaduct operational and a speed restriction in place.
Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “We want to thank passengers for their patience and understanding while we have carried out this urgent and vital repair work on Plessey Viaduct.
“Our teams have worked around the clock to fix the viaduct and allow trains to return to a normal service on the East Coast Main Line, battling the adverse weather that Storm Babet delivered.
“We are sorry for the disruption that this damage has caused, but our work at Plessey Viaduct will deliver safer and more reliable journeys for all our passengers.
The completion of the repair work marks the return of a full train service for passengers, ensuring seamless and reliable travel between Newcastle and Scotland.
Photo Credit: Network Rail