Preparation work is due to begin on a £3.6m project to raise a railway bridge out of the flood zone near Machynlleth.
Black Bridge near Machynlleth on the Cambrian line will be raised by a metre to protect it from high river levels.
The railway line between Machynlleth and Shrewsbury will be closed between May 15th and June 28th while the bridge is raised and the track reprofiled.
Heavy rainfall causes the river to flood onto the railway line meaning regular closures for the trains and disruption for passengers.
While the line is closed, Transport for Wales will ensure that rail replacement services are in operation.
Network Rail’s contractors Amco Giffen will soon begin the necessary preparation works. As the bridge crosses the River Dulas, a fish spawning river, Network Rail are working with Natural Resources Wales and other ecological specialists to protect the environment.
During periods of heavy rainfall, the bridge is repeatedly flooded, causing regular closures on the Machynlleth to Shrewsbury route, leaving large sections of the Cambrian lines in central Wales isolated.
Kevin Giles, senior asset engineer for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “The flooding at Black Bridge has been a problem for the past 25 to 30 years, but it is happening more frequently now.”
“We want to get this route ready for the future and make it more reliable for our passengers.”
“We will be lifting the structure and track on each side, so that we can keep the line out of the water during the flooded conditions.”
Alexia Course, Transport for Wales’ director of transport operations, said: “We’re delighted to see Network Rail taking this vital step in improving the resilience of the Cambrian Line. This sits alongside our own investment in transforming services throughout the Wales and Borders network, including brand new trains and extra services for the Cambrian Line in the years to come.”
“We’re working collaboratively to ensure minimal disruption for our passengers while work is ongoing. As our services will be affected, it’s important for anyone travelling on the Cambrian Line to check before you travel, in case of any changes to our timetables. You can do this on the TfW Rail website www.tfwrail.wales or the TfW app.”
A spokesperson for the Growing Mid Wales Partnership said: “The Growing Mid Wales Partnership welcomes the investment by Network Rail in the Cambrian Line at Black Bridge, Machynlleth.”
“The Cambrian Main Line is a strategic rail corridor for Mid Wales, and we welcome investments that will help minimise disruption of services and provide a reliable service for residents in the long term.”
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