Investment in iconic bridges and viaducts to breathe new life into Cheshire’s railway

Published on : Saturday, December 19, 2015

a303b5cd9b5c4438a086be0b017b803cCheshire’s most iconic railway bridges and viaducts are being revitalised thanks to a £17m investment by Network Rail. The purpose of the work is to make the railway safer and more reliable for passengers, motorists, pedestrians and canal users across the county.


During an 11-day  closure of the Crewe to Manchester and Sandbach to Northwich railway lines, – Network Rail will carry out vital refurbishment works to four bridges and two viaducts as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan.


Completing these works at the same time has helped save £500,000 of taxpayers’ money and minimised the level of disruption as much as possible for passengers and freight services along these routes.


As part of this programme, the Grade-II listed viaducts at Holmes Chapel and Peover – two of Cheshire’s most well-known architectural landmarks – will be given a full makeover. Water stains on the walls of both viaducts will be removed, damaged brickwork will be repaired and both structures will be waterproofed.


At the same time, Network Rail engineers will undertake strengthening work to the Hungerford Road bridge in Crewe, Shipbrook Road bridge in Rudheath, and to the Whatcroft underbridge and the Trent and Mersey Canal bridge in Davenham. This essential work will help ensure these bridges continue to be reliable for passengers, motorists, pedestrians and canal users for decades to come.


Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail said: “As part of our Railway Upgrade Plan, we are committed to delivering this major investment programme to improve the long-term reliability of a number of iconic and integral railway structures in Cheshire.


“To ensure the safety of our staff and passengers while we undertake this vital work from 13 to 24 February, the Crewe to Manchester and Sandbach to Northwich railway lines will be closed to both passenger and freight services. I would like to apologise to passengers in advance for any disruption this may cause.


“We care about passengers and by delivering these improvements as a package, we have minimised the level of disruption and reduced the need for future maintenance work. We have also saved half a million pounds which we can spend on further improvements elsewhere on the railway.”


A spokesperson on behalf of Virgin Trains, Northern Rail, CrossCountry trains and Arriva Trains said: “We understand that improvement works impact on passengers. This investment is vital and will deliver real benefits in helping to provide customers with a more reliable railway. All affected train operating companies are working closely with Network Rail to ensure alternative travel arrangements are in place wherever possible and to keep disruption to a minimum whilst this important work is carried out. Our advice to all customers travelling between Manchester and Crewe is to check their journey before they travel.”


The 11-day closure of these routes will mean that services to Manchester from London and South Wales (and vice-versa) will temporarily by-pass Crewe and be diverted via Macclesfield and Stockport. Local rail services will also be affected between Wilmslow, Stockport and Crewe. Replacement bus services will be provided and alternative routes will be signposted for all passengers who are affected.


Source:-Network Rail

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