Network Rail engineers have found that Ribblehead Viaduct needs “extra TLC” in order to allow it to operate efficiently for years to come for passengers, tourists and freight trains.
Progress pictures have also been released today by Network Rail showing progress made in the £2.1m project at Ribblehead Viaduct.
During the project, stone blockwork and drainage is being upgraded on the viaduct, that takes the famous Sette to Carlisle line.
Drone surveys have mapped out the viaduct and scaffolding towers have been erected for repairs to take place.
The above video gives viewers rare access to seeing what the 144-year-old viaduct is really like and what condition it is in.
The extra repair work that is needed includes some of the blockwork on the viaducts supports which are cracked, and when rainwater gets inside the cracks, it can then freeze and expand to make the damage worse.
Plans have now been submitted by Network Rail to the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority to complete the extra repairs as soon as possible as part of the same project.
Marc Vipham, route asset manager for structures at Network Rail, said: “Being up close restoring Ribblehead viaduct for several months now, we have found deeper issues that need attention to protect this amazing feat of Victorian engineering for the future.
“As with any heritage project of this kind, when plans need to change it is standard procedure to submit further planning applications to adapt our work. Carrying out these extra repairs now, when the experts are in place and the scaffolding is already up, will save a huge amount of taxpayers’ money and stop us needing to come back all over again.
“We’re continuing to work closely with heritage experts and conservationists at the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority so we’re all on the same page as to how we can best restore this much-loved structure for generations to come.”
Photos released by Network Rail show work progressing on stone blockwork repairs, vegetation removal, drainage system upgrades as well as metal and pipework repainting.
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