The section of railway between Keswick and Threlkeld in the Lake District was closed in 1972 and subsequently became a well-used footpath. However two striking bowstring bridges were washed away during Storm Desmond in 2015, severing the route and impacting on local tourism.
The structures had been engineered by Sir Thomas Bouch whose reputation was shattered when his bridge over the Tay collapsed in 1879, at a cost of 75 lives.
Now a £7.9 million project is underway to reinstate the path, replacing the missing spans, repairing a damaged abutment, constructing 200 metres of off-line route and excavating a 92-yard tunnel which had been filled in following the railway’s closure.
This video report considers Bouch’s legacy and charts some of the challenges associated with the ongoing works.