Network Rail has announced that the work on the Ribblehead viaduct on the Settle to Carlisle line in North Yorkshire is complete.
Now visitors can see the Victorian viaduct in all of its glory. The viaduct is 400m long, 104ft high, and has 24 arches.
This Victorian viaduct was build between 1870-1875 and opened in May 1876.
The work on the viaduct at Ribblehead started in November 2020 and the scaffolding towers have been moved across seven of the twenty-four arches to carry out repairs on the structure.
An investment as part of the ‘Great North Rail Project’ will secure the listed structure’s future as both a historic landmark and vital railway link on the Settle-Carlisle railway line.
All of the work has completed in time for coming out of lockdown and Staycation Summer ahead.
Philippa Britton, principal programme sponsor for Network Rail, said: “The teams have worked throughout a harsh winter to restore this hugely important and impressive piece of Victorian engineering for the future and I’m hugely proud of the work we’ve carried out as part of the Great North Rail Project.
“We’ve worked incredibly closely with heritage experts and conservationists to make sure the repairs were sympathetic to the historic structure but would also last the test of time. Now these once in a generation repairs are complete we hope you won’t see scaffolding on this scale at Ribblehead again for many years to come.”
Mark Rand, vice-president of the Friends of the Settle to Carlisle line, said: “This has been another chapter in the history of the amazing Ribblehead viaduct. Thirty years ago it was declared to be ‘life-expired and in need of replacement or the entire line would have to close. Happily, neither of those things happened. All credit to Network Rail and their contractors who have done this work through a bitter Ribblehead winter. The viaduct stands proud and strong, a monumental tribute to those who lived, and died, to build it.”
Adrian Quine, director of Rail Charter Services which runs the ‘Staycation Express’, said: “We are expecting unprecedented demand for our trains this summer. The restoration of daily dining car trains along the line – the first since 1975 – is already causing a lot of excitement. What better way to experience it than enjoying three-course silver service with drink in hand as the Staycation Express crosses this iconic structure.”
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