Our 'helping hands for Falling Sands' fundraising campaign secured £1.3 million in donations and a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund. This meant work began at the very end of 2019 to restore Falling Sands Viaduct.
This ambitious programme of works is split into two phases; the first dealing with the internal structure of the viaduct itself, in order to improve the drainage and incorporate a waterproof layer; the second will see contractors us rope access to replace damaged bricks and repoint the mortar on the outside walls and arches of the bridge. For the latest updates on restoration work, please visit our dedicated project website at FallingSandsViaduct.org.uk .
In addition, as part of the Falling Sands Viaduct project, we're putting in place an exciting and comprehensive programme of exhibitions and activities highlighting the Railway's history from its early Victorian beginnings.
Work on the viaduct itself started at the very end of December 2019, when the track was lifted by a team of volunteers and paid staff, to allow the contractors to begin the task of removing the ballast and fill from the viaduct. The timing was chosen to make the most of the annual six week shutdown period. The line between Kidderminster and Bewdley will remain closed until Easter 2020, although services will run between Bridgnorth and Bewdley from February half term. For the latest updates on the restoration project, please visit our dedicated project website at FallingSandsViaduct.org.uk
After the sandstone infill was removed from the viaduct, our contractors improved the drainage channels and added a modern, waterproof membrane, before putting everything back together. After the structure has properly dried out, damaged bricks will be replaced and the mortar repointed. We hope that the entire restoration will be completed by autumn 2020.
This extensive repair was urgently needed as water had seeped into the structure of the 142-year-old viaduct, causing it to crack and erode. We needed to put things right, to avoid being forced to reduce the length of trains, or even face temporary or permanent closure of the line.
More than 250,000 people experience the joy of heritage rail travel at the SVR every year, and we want to make sure this continues long into the future.
Here's one of the short films we made to promote our 'helping hands for Falling Sands' appeal. Please note that this appeal is now closed and you can no longer add a name to the donation wall..