Vital restoration work to protect the 19th century Reddish viaduct has been completed, allowing the Hope Valley line between Sheffield and Manchester to be reopened.
The renovation of the Grade-II listed structure forms part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan.
Network Rail said that engineers worked around the clock to carry out the vital refurbishments, which included strengthening work to repair and stabilise the main supporting columns on each of the four corners of the viaduct to strengthen and protect the structure.
The Hope Valley line was closed for nine days from 2 April from Ashburys to Romiley and Marple Wharf Junction to New Mills Central. During this time, Network Rail completely removed the railway track and ballast – the foundation stones which support the tracks – and placed a special waterproof system with new drainage along the viaduct before relaying the track.
Network Rail scheme project manager Mark Ashton said: “The Reddish viaduct is stunning and the work we completed over the past nine days means that it will remain that way for another century.
“Closing the line for this extended period maximised the work we could do, cut down on disruption to passengers and was a much more efficient way of working, saving significant amounts of taxpayers’ money.”
The 16-span Reddish viaduct was built in 1875 and carries the rail line over the River Tame and Reddish Vale Country Park.