Vital track and viaduct upgrades on the Cambrian Line between Machynlleth and Shrewsbury are due to be carried out until Monday 22 May as Network Rail undertake refurbishment works on the Severn and Carno railway viaduct.
Network Rail and a contractor plan to completely replace timber beams whilst also carrying out remedial work on the bridge. They are also planning on replacing metallic straps and fixings during the two week period.
Gareth Yates, project manager at Network Rail Wales & Borders for Severn and Carno viaduct renewal, said: “This viaduct is over 160 years old so further work is needed to strengthen and extend the life of the structure to prevent emergency closures of the line.
“This work has been planned before the busy summer period, to minimise disruption to passengers visiting the stunning scenery along the Cambrian line.”
In preparation for the extended work on Severn and Carno viaduct, work will be carried out in Newtown and Caersws.
Network Rail engineers alongside contractors, will be working continuously around Newtown station to remove and replace the track to help make passenger journeys more reliable.
The work will include 2,000 metres of new track, five new sets of railway points (which allows trains to move from one track to another) and 300 metres of new drainage (to prevent washouts and flooding).
It is hoped that the refurbishment works will help allow the new rolling stock from Transport for Wales to be able to use the station. During the work at Newtown, the station car park will be closed for a month so that work can be carried out safely.
Bradley Wallace, project manager at Network Rail Wales & Borders for Newtown track work, added: “We know that there is never an ideal time to carry out work on the railway and disrupt passenger services and we would like to thank the local community in advance for their patience whilst we carry out this essential track work.”
Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Chief Operations Officer for Transport for Wales (Rail Services), commented: “This work by Network Rail will help make the railway infrastructure on the Cambrian line more resilient and improve the reliability of our passenger services.
“New Class 197 trains have been ordered for the line, so this investment will help clear the way for the trains to operate successfully.
“We understand rail replacement services can be frustrating in the short term, but the overall benefits will be worthwhile for the future.”