Masonry Repairs Required On Ribblehead Viaduct

Extensive masonry repairs are required on the Grade II-listed Ribblehead Viaduct, which carries the Settle to Carlisle line across some incredibly remote terrain in the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

According to the Yorkshire Post, National Park Authority documents now show that the work is necessary because masonry has been seen falling from the viaduct and landing near people walking below it.

The viaduct itself was built in the 1870s by labourers who lived in camps on Batty Moss Bog. It was threatened with closure during the 1980s but since then it has survived and thrived, with passenger numbers growing and the line now handling Northern services between Leeds and Carlisle, as well as steam charter excursion and freight trains.

Network Rail has said that there are a number of masonry defects across the viaduct, as well as fractures to the arches and piers, and drainage system issues. As such, a programme of “remedial interventions is required to prevent these defects escalating into a more significant and complex concern”.

The work is expected to be carried out during the summer months, with proposed jobs including stitching fractures in masonry, repainting metalwork and inserting anchors and reinforcing stone.

Yvonne Peacock, Upper Dales councillor, said the viaduct was essential for bringing tourists to the region but also for enabling local residents to shop and go to football matches in places like Carlisle and Leeds. The viaduct also serves local quarries and woodyards, allowing them to transport timber and stone.

Ribblehead Viaduct can be found just across the border from Cumbria, heading into North Yorkshire. Hundreds of railway builders died building the line, either from accidents and fights or smallpox outbreaks.

In fact, building the 24 massive stone arches (which stretch up 32m above the moor) caused such loss of life that an expansion of the local graveyard was paid for by the railway!

If you travel along the line, you can see memorials that commemorate the lives of some of those who died while constructing the line – so keep your eyes out at St Leonards’ Church, Chapel-le-Dale, and St Mary’s Church Outhgill.

Here at Foreva Concrete Repairs, we carry out structural remedial works on concrete but also on masonry and bricks structures. We can provide structural strengthening and refinements to masonry or brick bridges, walls and buildings, with a raft of different repair techniques at our disposal.

Many of the masonry and brickwork structures in this country are of architectural or historical importance and, as such, are listed buildings.

We’re experienced in the repair of listed structures and only ever use the most sympathetic techniques and products to lengthen the life of structures, while maintaining their appearance and functionality. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch with us today.