175-year-old Yarm Viaduct plaque renewed as wider restoration work continues: Yarm Viaduct, Network Rail (1)

Tuesday 9 Apr 2024

175-year-old Yarm Viaduct plaque renewed as wider restoration work continues

Region & Route:
| Eastern: East Coast

Network Rail has partnered with the Railway Heritage Trust (RHT) to refresh a commemorative plaque on Yarm Viaduct, while further work is underway to restore the structure.

Last November, vital engineering work began on restoring the Grade-II listed viaduct which will see the structure strengthened and maintained to extend its lifespan for future years.

The essential work will help to reduce disruption for passengers and freight services and make journeys more reliable on a more resilient railway.

Our teams were contacted last year by the local community in Yarm in relation to vegetation on a historic plaque which can be seen on the central column of the viaduct.

Network Rail colleagues cleared the vegetation from the site and restored the 175-year-old plaque back closer to its original condition.

The restoration was funded by the Railway Heritage Trust with specialist rope teams carrying out the work. The project has now preserved the commemorative plaque for many more years to come.

The ongoing engineering work to strengthen the viaduct and repair the stonework is estimated to be completed in winter 2024.

Work will strengthen 14 piers and will include de-vegetation, excavation, and concrete underpinning to prepare for pilling from July. The site will also see masonry repairs to key areas across the viaduct to recondition the stonework.

The type of piling engineers will be using does not generate the same amount of noise as hammer piling in a bid to reduce noise disruption for local residents.

Network Rail is working with Yarm Wellness Centre to transform two arches under the viaduct when the work is completed for a garden and a seating area to improve the area for the local community.

Sean Ellerby, Scheme Project Manager for Network Rail said: “We are delighted that we’ve been able to work with the Railway Heritage Trust to restore this 175-year-old piece of history closer to its former glory.

“While our work primarily focuses on making sure our rail network is safe and reliable for passengers, we try to take every opportunity we can to restore important and valued pieces of railway history such as Yarm Viaduct’s plaque, dating back to 1849.

“Further upgrades to improve the viaduct are ongoing and we want to thank local residents for their support while this work continues.”

Tim Hedley-Jones, Director of the Railway Heritage Trust: “We are pleased to have supported the work on Yarm Viaduct with a grant to restore the plaque.

“It is a testament to the skill of those who designed and built this structure that it still fulfils the function for which it was constructed, after completion in 1852.”

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Chantele Hodson
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