Phase 1 of Stanway Viaduct repair complete

Ian Crowder
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March 27, 2024

• Viaduct handed back to Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway trains • Line to Broadway re-opened from Good Friday, 29 March 2024

Work to re-waterproof the surface of Stanway Viaduct on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway (GWSR) and to stabilise the 200m-long viaduct parapets, under which a mortar joint was unexpectedly found to have failed, has been completed.  

The track has been reinstated and the viaduct handed back to the railway, in time for services to Broadway station to resume on Good Friday, 29th March.

Broadway had been cut off from the rest of the line since the beginning of November, when the track was lifted to gain access to the viaduct’s deck.

According to Dr Graham Plant, the GWSR’s Civil Engineering Director: “This first phase of the project was undertaken by Walsh Construction and their sub-contractor Lampitt Rail Services with consulting engineers David Symonds Associates. It was completed within budget and within the expected time frame – we were fortunate that generally favourable weather has been on our side, allowing the work to press ahead with little interruption. I am particularly pleased that all the works were completed safely over the 5-month contract.”

“The chosen solution to stabilise the parapets, using stainless steel ties between 240 stainless steel plates on the parapets anchored to the new concrete deck, was completed far more quickly than we expected.”

“I’m absolutely delighted that the viaduct has been handed back to the railway so soon and I for one, look forward to travelling over it once again.”

The first public train (other than engineering trains) to cross the viaduct following repairs is due to depart Toddington for Broadway at 09.40 on Good Friday, returning shortly afterwards with the 10.15 Broadway to Cheltenham Racecourse service.

Added Dr Plant: “Many of us have breathed a huge sigh of relief after the intensive work on the viaduct, to say nothing of the stressful and unpleasant surprise that the parapets were showing alarming signs of failure.”

“We will now allow the viaduct to dry out before starting work on Phase 2 which is planned to start in 2025, subject to funding. This will encompass repair of the structure’s brickwork that has been damaged by water seepage over many decades.”

The work could not have been carried out without vital support from the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust which, last year, launched an appeal to raise money to fund the now-completed first stage of the viaduct repair work, costing around £600,000.

“In all, complete repair of the viaduct will cost up to £1.8 million, so the appeal remains open,” Dr Plant pointed out. “We expect the painstaking task to repair the brickwork to take up to three years to finish.”

The viaduct appeal can be found at www.gwrt.org.uk/donate/stanway-viaduct-appeal