Home Video Report Video: Keswick-Threlkeld Railway Path reinstatement

Video: Keswick-Threlkeld Railway Path reinstatement

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.

Graeme Bickerdikehttp://therailengineer.com
SPECIALIST AREAS Tunnels and bridges, historic structures and construction techniques, railway safety Graeme Bickerdike's association with the railway industry goes back to the mid-nineties when he was contracted to produce safety awareness videos and printed materials aimed at the on-track community. This led to him heading a stream of work to improve the way safety rules are communicated and understood - ultimately simplifying them - for which he received the IRSE’s Wing Award for Safety in 2007. In 2005, Graeme launched a website to catalogue and celebrate some of the more notable disused railway structures which still grace Britain’s landscape. Several hundred have since had their history researched and a photographic record captured. A particular focus has been the construction methods adopted by Victorian engineers and contractors; as a result, the site has become a useful resource for those with asset management responsibilities. Graeme has been writing for Rail Engineer for the past ten years, generally looking at civil engineering projects and associated issues. He has a deep appreciation of the difficulties involved in building tunnels and viaducts through the 19th Century, a trait which is often reflected in his stories.

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