Monday 24 Apr 2006


Region & Route:
Scotland’s Railway: Scotland
Three major railway bridges, all over 100 years old, are being given a new lease of life in a £7.5 million investment by Network Rail. Tay and Earn Viaducts in the Perth area, and Barbush Viaduct north of Dunblane, will be revamped in year-long works to protect their future. The news comes in the same month the company announced plans to spend £70 million on structures and drainage in Scotland in the coming year. David Simpson, Route Director, said: “These bridges are important parts of the rail infrastructure and the money we spend looking after them today will pay dividends tomorrow. The work is part of our £70 million investment in bridges, viaducts, earthworks and drainage for the coming year. “The three viaducts were each carefully engineered more than a century ago and have stood the test of time. Now we’re gearing up to make sure they’re in good condition for passengers in the future.” The 22-span Tay Viaduct will benefit from £2.2 million of works, including replacing and waterproofing the timber decks, repairing the masonry arches and renewing the track, allowing smoother train rides for passengers. A solution has also been found to allow the pedestrian footpath, which runs along the bridge and gives access to Moncrieffe Island, to remain open throughout the works. Meanwhile, £3.53 million will be spent on the 17-span Earn Viaduct. Work will include strengthening the bridge’s trusses, as well as carrying our repairs, waterproofing the deck and painting. And a further £1.75 million will be spent on the three span Barbush Viaduct, including strengthening works, repairs, waterproofing and painting. The nature of the work means that the bridges will have to close for short periods to allow access under the track. Network Rail is carrying out the work on each bridge simultaneously to ensure disruption to passengers is kept to an absolute minimum. Preparation works have already started on each of the bridges and the finishing touches are expected to be completed within 12 months.

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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.

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