Shropshire Star

Trains running across the huge Barmouth viaduct once again

Trains are running once again across the spectacular Barmouth viaduct over the Mawddach estuary.

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Barmouth Bridge

The historic bridge has been closed for three months for essential structural work, making this the second year the bridge has been closed, with rail passengers having to use replacement buses to cross the estuary.

The latest work is part of a £30 million restoration of the popular landmark and a vital link on the Machynlleth to Pwllheli coast route.

As well as trains the bridge is used by pedestrians and cyclists, many of whom have instead used a ferry during the closure.

Waiting for the ferry to cross the Mawddach

Network Rail said that, at more than 150 years old the viaduct had been in a poor condition. Many of the timber elements of the viaduct had decayed significantly over time and a large proportion of the metallic elements have corroded.

The work is being done in a way that won't threaten its industrial heritage and listed status, including replacing all the timber main beams.

A spokesperson for Network Rail said: "Our engineers working on the 154-year-old bridge during phases one and two found it to be in a much worse condition than originally anticipated. So to allow us to carry out some additional crucial work but minimise the impact on the local community, we took two shorter closures of the line."

This autumn saw the reconstruction of the metal sections of the bridge and renewal of the tracks near to Barmouth Toll House, on the northern edge of the viaduct.

Network Rail marked the completion of the latest phase of the work with a video of one of the first trains running across the new track on the re-opened bridge.

It thanked all those involved in the works.