Tuesday 14 Sep 2004


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Portrack Viaduct Wins Civil Engineering Achievement Portrack Viaduct, owned and operated by Network Rail was hailed as the Civil Engineering Achievement of the Year at the National Rail Awards 2004 held on Thursday 2 September.  Network Rail scooped the annual award, which celebrates excellence and achievement in the industry, against stiff competition, at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. The £15 million project to replace the 130 year-old viaduct, was one of the biggest engineering projects ever undertaken by Network Rail in Scotland and included constructing two new viaducts, a 210 metre Upper and a 25 metre Lower Portrack Viaduct. The ambitious engineering work on the Glasgow and South West rail line between Glasgow and Dumfries over the River Nith began in April 2003 and was completed in December 2003 on time and within budget.  Ron McAulay,  Network Rail’s Route Director, Scotland, said:  “We are absolutely delighted that Portrack Viaduct has won as it is an outstanding piece of engineering.  It was a huge undertaking and all those involved in the project should be proud of their achievement to provide a sound and safe viaduct for generations to come and a substantial improvement in the efficiency of the line.  The whole project team including Network Rail, contractors and designers worked to a common purpose of replacing the existing viaduct with a structure that would best serve the needs of the travelling public and the local community.” The existing viaduct was built in 1875, after two previous bridges had been badly damaged by floodwaters.  The new Portrack Viaduct has been designed and built to eliminate the risk of future floodwater affecting the viaduct and the railway line. Carillion Rail Ltd was the principal contractor for the works at Portrack and Scott Wilson Railways the consultant engineers.

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