Urgent anti-erosion work is being carried out around the foundations of Reddish Vale railway viaduct in Greater Manchester.
The viaduct is in the Reddish Vale area of Stockport and was built in 1875. It crosses the River Tame and the Tame Valley and is used by train services on the Hope Valley line between Manchester and Sheffield.
A routine inspection by Network Rail discovered that fast-flowing water from the River Tame has caused the riverbed to wash away. To rectify this, approximately 2,500 tonnes of rock armour, which are large boulders, is being installed at the foundations of the viaduct.
The immediate repairs will make sure the viaduct’s foundations are not at risk of erosion and trains can safely travel on the Hope Valley line for years to come. Train services are still running over the structure at the usual 50mph line speed.
Local residents have been informed about the work, which is expected to be completed by the end of February. Parents and guardians of pupils at the nearby Reddish Vale High School have been advised that there will be an increase in construction vehicles travelling along Lambeth Road and Reddish Vale Road.
Chris Pye, North West infrastructure director at Network Rail, said: “We’re carrying out vital work to protect Reddish Vale viaduct and the riverbed from erosion caused by fast-flowing water to ensure passenger and freight trains can continue to run safely on the Hope Valley line.
“I would like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience and understanding while the work takes place. I appreciate it’s not ideal to have large machines near your homes. We’re doing all we can to limit the impact wherever possible.”
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said: “Improvements like these are essential in delivering our long-term strategy to create a better railway for the north and is a great example of the rail industry working together to improve the network.
“We are sorry for any disruption while the work takes place and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to keep them on the move.”
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, said: “This is really urgent work, and I’m very pleased that Network Rail are taking action before any further erosion occurs.
“The Reddish Vale viaduct is not only an iconic piece of architecture for both Reddish and Denton but also a vital transport and rail link. It’s important that we protect it for generations to come.”