Home General Interest Listed George Stephenson viaduct to be restored

Listed George Stephenson viaduct to be restored

A 180-year-old viaduct in Todmorden, Lancashire, that was designed by railway pioneer George Stephenson, is undergoing a multi-million-pound restoration to improve passenger journeys and secure its future for generations to come.

The 1840-built Grade II listed Gauxholme viaduct will be grit blasted to its bare metal for structural repairs to take place in a £3.7 million investment project. The important piece of railway heritage, which spans the Rochdale canal, will then be deep cleaned and repainted back to its Victorian splendour.

Taylors bridge, which carries the railway over Rose Bank Road near Todmorden station, will also be completely reconstructed with two disused sections permanently removed as part of the same investment.

Aerial photo of Gauxholme Viaduct.

Both projects mean the railway through Todmorden will be entirely closed from Saturday 24 October to Sunday 1 November.

Network Rail scheme project manager Kathryn Berry said: “This work to restore the impressive Gauxholme viaduct and renew Taylor’s bridge is essential to improve passenger journeys through Todmorden.

“The Great North Rail Project investment will secure this important piece of railway heritage for generations to come.

 “We have been working closely with Calderdale Council on our plans and thank passengers, road users and the local community in advance for their patience while we deliver this essential work.”

During the nine-day railway closure there will be no trains between Blackburn and Manchester via Todmorden.

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “The upgrade and repair work near Todmorden is key to future-proofing the rail network in the area and will give Northern customers a modern infrastructure for many years to come between Hebden Bridge and Rochdale.

“We’re working closely with Network Rail to keep disruption to a minimum and will be providing rail replacement transport while the work is carried out. More details of these provisions will be available via the Northern website in the near future.”

Gauxholme Viaduct 4 August 2020.

Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley, said: “I am incredibly delighted that funding in the region of £3.7m is being invested locally to restore the 1840s Grade II listed Gauxholme viaduct here in Todmorden. It is so important to renovate such structures – these form part of our history.

“Here in Todmorden we are blessed with some amazing buildings and structures, the past forms part our future. I cannot wait to see the completed renovation works and see Gauxholme viaduct back to its former glory.”

During the works, a temporary footpath closure will be in place beneath Gauxholme viaduct with a small diversionary route in place for pedestrians. A pontoon will also be set up on the canal to allow workers to access the structure.

At Taylor’s bridge, access for residents via Rose Bank Road will be maintained during the project.

Nigel Wordsworth BSc(Hons) MCIJhttp://therailengineer.com

SPECIALIST AREAS Rolling stock, mechanical equipment, project reports, executive interviews


Nigel Wordsworth graduated with an honours degree in Mechanical Engineering from Nottingham University, after which he joined the American aerospace and industrial fastener group SPS Technologies. After a short time at the research laboratories in Pennsylvania, USA, Nigel became responsible for applications engineering to industry in the UK and Western Europe. At this time he advised on various engineering projects, from Formula 1 to machine tools, including a particularly problematic area of bogie design for the HST.

A move to the power generation and offshore oil supply sector followed as Nigel became director of Entwistle-Sandiacre, a subsidiary of the Australian-owned group Aurora plc. At the same time, Nigel spent ten years as a Technical Commissioner with the RAC Motor Sports Association, responsible for drafting and enforcing technical regulations for national and international motor racing series.

Joining Rail Engineer in 2008, Nigel’s first assignment was a report on new three-dimensional mobile mapping and surveying equipment, swiftly followed by a look at vegetation control machinery. He continues to write on a variety of topics for most issues.

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