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Published on : Friday, April 1, 2016
Network Rail is reminding passengers that the Hope Valley Line running between Sheffield and Manchester will be closed from Ashburys to Romiley and Marple Wharf Junction to New Mills Central between 2 and 10 April 2016.The section of line will be closed for nine days while work takes place on the iconic Reddish viaduct so trains can continue to use if for the next 100 years.
The renovation of the historic structure forms part of Network Rail’s £40bn Railway Upgrade Plan to build a better, safer, more reliable railway for Britain.Network Rail’s engineers, the ‘orange army’, has been carrying out foundation works for a number of weeks on the Grade II listed 19th century-built structure in preparation for the main body of work in April, which starts tomorrow .
The orange army will be working around the clock while the line is closed to trains. This will allow engineers to completely remove the railway track and ballast – the foundation stones which supports the tracks – and place a special waterproof system with new drainage along the viaduct before relaying the track ready for trains on the Monday morning.
In addition the scheme will repair and stabilise the main supporting columns on each of the four corners of the viaduct to strengthen and protect the structure for many years to come.
Mark Ashton, Network Rail’s scheme project manager, said: “The Reddish viaduct is stunning and the essential work we are doing should mean that it will remain that way for another century.
“Closing the line for nine days maximises the work we can do, cuts down on disruption to passengers and is a much more efficient way of working, saving significant amounts of taxpayers’ money.
“I appreciate there will be some disruption as a result of this work and I’d like to thank passengers for their patience while we carry out this investment to provide a better railway.”
Network Rail has been working closely with Northern Rail which operates services on the affected lines. Where possible train services are being diverted and rail replacement services are replacing some services.
Alex Hynes, Managing Director for Northern Rail, said: “Investment in infrastructure helps contribute to a real improvement in performance and reliability for our customers on this line of route. Future-proofing the railway helps create more travel opportunities for communities in the long term and helps deliver even more of our customers to and from cities like Manchester and Sheffield.”
The 16 span viaduct was built in 1875 and carries the rail line over the River Tame and Reddish Vale Country Park. A local legend states that during construction a local witch cursed the viaduct and anyone who counted the number of arches