Wednesday 21 Oct 2020
Passengers warned of railway closure as historic Todmorden bridge work starts
Passengers in the Calder Valley are being urged to check before they travel from this weekend when essential maintenance starts on an 180-year-old viaduct designed by railway pioneer George Stephenson.
Gauxholme viaduct is undergoing a multi-million-pound restoration to improve passenger journeys and secure its future for generations to come.
The £3.7m Great North Rail Project investment will see the 1840-built Grade II listed structure grit blasted to its bare metal for structural repairs to take place.
Unedited B-Roll footage of viaduct available for download at bottom of page
The important piece of railway heritage, which spans the Rochdale canal, will then be deep cleaned and repainted back to its Victorian splendour.
Taylors bridge, which carries the railway over Rose Bank Road near Todmorden station, will also be completely reconstructed with two disused sections permanently removed as part of the same investment.
Both projects mean the railway through Todmorden will be entirely closed from Saturday 24 October to Sunday 1 November.
Passengers are being advised to expect changes to their journeys and check www.nationalrail.co.uk or with train operator Northern.
Kathryn Berry, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “This work to restore the impressive Gauxholme viaduct and renew Taylor’s bridge is essential to improve passenger journeys through Todmorden.
“The Great North Rail Project investment will secure this important piece of railway heritage for generations to come.
“We have been working closely with Calderdale Council on our plans and thank passengers, road users and the local community in advance for their patience while we deliver this essential work.”
During the nine-day railway closure there will be no trains between Blackburn and Manchester via Todmorden.
Passengers are advised to check before they travel with their train operator for alternative routes and information about bus replacement services between Rochdale and Hebden Bridge.
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “The upgrade and repair work near Todmorden is key to future-proofing the rail network in the area and will give Northern customers a modern infrastructure for many years to come between Hebden Bridge and Rochdale.
“We’re working closely with Network Rail to keep disruption to a minimum and will be providing rail replacement transport while the work is carried out.”
Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley, said: “I am incredibly delighted that funding in the region of £3.7m is being invested locally to restore the 1840s Grade II listed Gauxholme viaduct here in Todmorden. It is so important to renovate such structures – these form part of our history.
“Here in Todmorden we are blessed with some amazing buildings and structures, the past forms part our future. I cannot wait to see the completed renovation works and see Gauxholme viaduct back to its former glory.”
A temporary footpath closure will be in place beneath Gauxholme viaduct with a small diversionary route in place for pedestrians.
A pontoon will also be set up on the canal to allow workers to access the structure.
At Taylor’s bridge, access for residents via Rose Bank Road will be maintained during the project.
B-Roll footage of Gauxholme Viaduct for broadcast use - click share button to download
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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.