Barmouth’s historic viaduct will close for up to 13 weeks this autumn for restoration
Metal sections on the Grade II* listed structure will be reconstructed or repaired and railway tracks renewed tracks near to Barmouth Toll House, on the northern edge of the viaduct.
Work began on the iconic structure back in 2020 in order to protect the bridge for future generations and to maintain its appearance. The £30 million investment has already seen teams replace the timber beams that support the 154-year-old structure, as well as additional timber strengthening work.
The restoration has been split across several years to reduce the impact on rail services, the community and local economy. Network Rail has also carefully planned the work to avoid the busy summer season when tens of thousands of holidaymakers travel to Barmouth from the West Midlands.
The railway over the viaduct will be closed from September 2 in a project likely to run into December.
The footpath over the viaduct will also be closed until November 24. This is so teams are able to have full access while they safely carry out the essential restoration.
Preparation work has already started. Engineering teams and contractors are currently grit blasting the steel caissons – the large steel cylinders that support the metal parts of the bridge – ready for painting.
Nick Millington, interim route director for Network Rail Wales & Borders said:
“We are excited to begin work on the final phase of restoring this iconic viaduct. There is no other like it in Britain, so we have meticulously and carefully brought this structure back to life so it can serve passengers for future generation.
“We would like to thank the local community for their support and patience while we have and continue to safely carry out this project. We know that there is never a perfect time to close the railway, but we are happy that we have managed to do so in the least disruptive way – for the community and the tourism that means so much to Barmouth.”
Network rail says the viaduct is in poor condition. Many of the timber elements of the viaduct have decayed significantly over time and a large proportion of the metallic elements have corroded.
Mr Millington said:
“Our engineers working on the bridge during phases one and two found it to be in a much worse condition than originally anticipated.
“To keep everyone safe we will need to close the footpath across the viaduct from this Thursday up to Friday 24 November. We’re sorry for any disruption that this will cause but the safety of the public and our staff is our key priority.”
Rail services will be disrupted during the works. There will be a rail replacement bus service in place but check before you travel. Further information can be found at tfw.wales, or on the TfW app.