Published on : Saturday, March 4, 2017
Remediation work on Cynghordy Railway Viaduct, a grade II listed structure on the Heart of Wales railway line, began in March last year to strengthen the structure and to reduce the long-term maintenance costs. Working with contractors Dyer and Butler and Tony Gee Engineers, refurbishment work was undertaken on the pillars and arches, maintaining the original features of the 150 year-old iconic structure.
The 100ft high viaduct required extensive scaffolding to complete the works including 86,000 meters of tube and 62,010 meters of scaffold board to cover the 850ft long viaduct. The scaffolding was erected with great care and with the use of resin anchors in the mortar joints, so not to cause any damage to the historic brickwork. This was a timely activity considering, end to end, the scaffolding was an incredible 92miles in length.
Richard Compton, works delivery manager at Network Rail said: “We would like to thank the local community for their support of the essential restoration work on this impressive structure.
“This was a challenging but rewarding project for all involved. We understand the importance of the continued survival and service of this spectacular piece of Victorian engineering, not only to the local community but also to the wider community in Wales and that is why it forms part of the Railway Upgrade Plan.”
Around 30 staff worked on the project each day, resulting in over 20,000 staff hours of work.
In advance of the work commencing, Network Rail liaised closely with Carmarthenshire County Council and CADW to ensure the planned restoration work would protect, and be sympathetic to the original Cynghordy brick. For the strengthening work, a stainless steel bar was bonded into cut slots at pre-determined levels in the masonry. This bar – now delicately covered in mortar – is not visible, yet will give a greater structural integrity for decades to come. Each pillar was also jet-cleaned to rejuvenate the brickwork.