Engineers use ropes and cradles to carry out repairs on Northumberland viaduct

Engineers are carrying out repair work on a former railway viaduct in north Northumberland.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 4:46 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 4:54 pm

Highways England Historical Railways Estate (HRE) is repairing Twizel Viaduct, near Cornhill.

The six-arch Grade II listed structure carries a permissive footpath, and a public footpath passes underneath.

Recent detailed examinations have highlighted areas of spalled brickwork in the arches, fractures in the spandrel walls above the piers and areas of mortar loss.

Engineers using ropes and cradles to safely carry out the repair work.

Contractors are using ropes and cradles due to the height and location of the viaduct.

A new waterproofing system was installed on the deck by Northumberland County Council, ahead of opening the permissive path across the viaduct in 2005.

Highways England civil engineer Colin McNicol said: "The repairs to this stunning former railway viaduct will enable the public to enjoy using it to cross the River Till for many years to come."

Council leader Glen Sanderson said: "This is an iconic structure in the area which we've carried out work on over the years. We're pleased Highways England is carrying out this work to extend the life of this beautiful bridge for future generations to enjoy."

Twizel Viaduct. Picture: Balfour Beatty

The viaduct was constructed by the Newcastle & Berwick Railway between 1846 and 1849, to carry the Tweedmouth to Kelso branch line over the River Till at Twizel.

The first train crossed the viaduct on 27 July 1849, while the final passenger service on the line was in the summer of 1964, followed by the last goods train nine months later.

The track was removed when the railway closed, and some of the line makes a footpath.

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