Network Rail has said that the West Coast Mainline is now fully reopened following completion of pier foundation repairs on the Lamington Viaduct in Scotland.
The viaduct has been closed since the end of last year following scour damage of the foundations by storm floodwaters but has been reopened a week ahead of the expected schedule.
According to Network Rail, the viaduct that carries the rail route over the River Clyde has undergone an intensive seven week engineering programme to stabilise the structure after it was left close to collapse by Storm Frank on New Year’s Eve.
The flooding scoured the foundations on the second pier and also damaged the bearings above, as well as damaging the foundations of the bridge’s third pier and northern abutment.
Repair work included placement of 7,000t of rock armour to protect the structure and provide access so that ground anchored concrete supports could be cast around the damaged piers.
Commenting on the reopening, UK government rail minister Claire Perry said: “When I visited the Lamington Viaduct in January I saw first-hand the scale of the engineering challenge and the dedicated Network Rail team working round-the-clock to resolve the damage. In difficult conditions, they have managed to re-open ahead of schedule, and I’m grateful for the patience of customers who were disrupted and to the staff who adapted remarkably.
“We can now get rail customers and rail freight moving again on this vital cross-border rail link, which is the western backbone of the network. Our record investment in the railways continues, along with regular maintenance and inspection, to ensure that they can withstand these unprecedented weather events.”
Network Rail has said that work on site will continue for the next few weeks to re-profile the river banks and re-shape the viaduct’s piers to further improve the flow of water through the structure.