Network Rail has completed the major refurbishment of Severn and Carno viaduct near Caersws, Powys, as well as a large section of track work near Newtown along the Cambrian line.
With the viaduct now looking better that is has in decades, local communities and tourists can fully enjoy a normal working train service in the area of surrounding natural beauty in the summer period.
First constructed in 1860, the 70-metre-long viaduct has been reconstructed twice in 1906 and 1927 and carried the railway over where the rivers Carno and Severn meet.
By jacking up the railway on top of the viaduct and working from floating platforms, or pontoons, on the river, teams of engineers from Network Rail and contractors AmcoGiffen have replaced three of a total of eleven spans of timber beams. They also carried out remedial work on the rest of the bridge, including the replacement of metallic straps and fixings.
In their commitment to a greener railway, Network Rail has recycled 100% of the replaced timber from the viaduct. A total of 17 tonnes of timber has been donated to local farmers and residents. The local school has already made plans to use the timber to construct outside benches for their pupils.
Additional teams removed and replaced 2 kilometres of track further east in Newtown to increase the reliability of journeys for passengers. Extra resilience work was also carried out on railway points, which allow trains to move from one track to another, along with drainage installation.
Network rail will also realise overnight track renewal work on the Cambrian line until the first week of July.
“This work by Network Rail will help make the railway infrastructure on the Cambrian line more resilient and improve the reliability of our passenger services. New Class 197 trains have been ordered for the line, so this investment will help clear the way for the trains to operate successfully,” Jan Chaudhry-Van der Velde, Chief Operations Officer for Transport for Wales (Rail Services), said.