Work underway to restore eye-catching structure’s former glory

Highways England Historical Railways Estate (HRE) is repairing Twizel Viaduct, near Cornhill-on-Tweed in Northumberland, to extend the life of the viaduct and allow people to continue enjoying the popular attraction.

The six-arch structure, which was built in the middle of the 19th century, carries a permissive footpath, and a public footpath passes underneath.

Recent detailed examinations have highlighted areas of spalled brickwork in the arches, fractures in the spandrel walls above the piers and areas of mortar loss throughout which are being repaired. Contractors are using ropes and cradles due to the height and location of the viaduct.

A new waterproofing system was installed on the deck by Northumberland County Council, ahead of opening the permissive path across the viaduct in 2005.

Highways England civil engineer Colin McNicol said:

The repairs to this stunning former railway viaduct will enable the public to enjoy using it to cross the River Till for many years to come.

HRE maintains more than 3,000 structures for the Department for Transport and is working closely with Northumberland County Council on this scheme.

Northumberland County Council leader Glen Sanderson said:

This is an iconic structure in the area which we’ve carried out work on over the years. We’re pleased Highways England is carrying out this work to extend the life of this beautiful bridge for future generations to enjoy.

Engineers using ropes and cradles to safely carry out the repair work at Twizel viaduct

Engineers using ropes and cradles to safely carry out the repair work

The viaduct was constructed by the Newcastle & Berwick Railway between 1846 and 1849, to carry the Tweedmouth to Kelso branch line over the River Till at Twizel.

The first train crossed the viaduct on 27 July 1849, while the final passenger service on the line was in the summer of 1964, followed by the last goods train nine months later.

The track was removed when the railway closed, and some of the line makes a footpath.

The work at Twizel Viaduct is the latest example of partnership working between Highways England and local authorities to create positive outcomes for the public and prolong the life of cherished structures

General enquiries

Members of the public should contact the Highways England customer contact centre on 0300 123 5000.

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