Tuesday 2 Mar 2004


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Thanks to financial contributions from the Railway Heritage Trust and St Helens Council, the railway viaduct in Newton-le-Willows is to be given a £200,000 facelift by Network Rail. Work is expected to be completed by the end of March, by which time the viaduct will have been given a new lease of life worth over half a million pounds. Work is being carried out by the North West Structures Alliance (NWSA), a partnership between Network Rail and Wigan-based Edmund Nuttall Ltd, and follows on from a £350,000 project to waterproof the viaduct last year. Having waterproofed it, NWSA can now get on with the job of cleaning the brick and stonework to remove unsightly and harmful limescale deposits. It will also repair masonry and ‘heritage’ stonework on the Grade 2 listed structure and install new cast iron rainwater pipes, having taken expert advice from Manchester-based consulting engineers Scott Wilson Kirkpatrick. One other feature that has required specialist work is the defective ‘gas tube’ parapet handrails that run the length of the viaduct. York architects Potts, Parry, Ives & Young have designed replacement cast iron handrails and dealt with the building conservation issues that arise from this type of work. - more - Newton – 2 Speaking about the work, Network Rail’s Regional Director Tim Clarke said: “It is really important that, as we continue to rebuild the railway, we take care of those structures that have stood the test of time and make sure that they continue to provide a service to the rail network for many years to come. We can only do this with the help and financial assistance provided by organisations such as the Railway Heritage Trust and the local authority, who also dealt with the building consents.” The Railway Heritage Trust’s Executive Director, Jim Cornell commented: “The condition and appearance of this historic structure has been in decline for some years and the Trust is delighted that Network Rail has approved a programme of repair and restoration to reverse this situation. We welcome the opportunity to be involved in a partnership solution to the work now being carried out.”

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