After our successful 'helping hands for Falling Sands' fundraising campaign, work began in earnest at the very end of 2019 to restore Falling Sands Viaduct. For the latest updates on restoration work, please visit our dedicated project website at FallingSandsViaduct.org.uk .
In March 2019,The National Lottery Heritage Fund awarded us grant funding of £853,000 towards the Falling Sands restoration project. We'd already secured £397,000 in donations from individuals, community organisations, businesses, trusts and foundations. This means the SVR can go ahead with its ambitious scheme to renovate the iconic Falling Sands Viaduct, and embark on a 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 viaduct's contents have been removed, our contractors will install efficient drainage channels and add a modern, waterproof membrane, before putting everything back together. Once 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 is urgently needed as water has seeped into the structure of the 142-year-old viaduct, causing it to crack and erode. If we don't act very soon, we may be forced to reduce the length of trains, or even face temporary or permanent closure of the line. Already there's a speed restriction in place across the viaduct.
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..