Falling Sands Viaduct
The line between Kidderminster and Bewdley is currently closed so we can undertake vital restoration works on Falling Sands Viaduct.
Sands Viaduct, which is on the outskirts of Kidderminster, forms part
of an extension to the original SVR line (which ran from Bridgnorth to
Bewdley) to connect Bewdley with Kidderminster. It straddles both the
River Stour and the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal, a symbol of
the prowess of Victorian engineering and testament to the skill and
determination of all those involved in its construction and maintenance.
The aims of the Falling Sands Viaduct Project are to:
Repair the viaduct successfully to ensure there is ongoing access to the whole of the heritage railway line.
understanding of a major 19th century rail construction project through
research, interpretation and educational activities.
- Broaden heritage skills for staff, volunteers and apprentices.
- Engage the local community and schools, especially those situated near the viaduct itself.
not formally listed, the viaduct is included on a local list of railway
heritage assets identified by Wyre Forest District Council Conservation
Officers. Water has penetrated into the viaduct arches, to
cause cracks, eroded brickwork and missing mortar joints. These need
sensitive repairs, including the restoration of the line of corbelling
along the parapet.
need for significant work to the viaduct was first identified by the
SVR Structural Line Report in 2013. This was followed in 2014 by work
from CAN Structures who removed vegetation, surveyed the extent of
deterioration and established an initial budget for remediation. This
created a sense of urgency, as without a repair programme, the
deterioration will accelerate, putting the viability of the entire SVR
line at risk.
is now underway in earnest on the restoration of Falling Sands
Viaduct. As many readers will already be aware, the last few days of
our Festive Season services have been running between Bewdley and
Bridgnorth only, as the line was closed between Kidderminster and
Bewdley to allow the works to commence on the viaduct.
On the last two days of 2019, the paid permanent way
team was supplemented by more than a dozen volunteers to carry out the
task of lifting the track from above the viaduct. Volunteer p/way
administrator Keith Brown was one of working party:
“After a few initial problems, we got off to a great
start with the job, and by the end of the first day we’d lifted more
than half the track. We completed the task the following day. The sun
was out – and that’s not something we often see when we’re starting on
winter permanent way work! It was a thoroughly productive couple of
days, and very satisfying to be kicking off this important restoration
project. Thanks to everyone who turned out to help.”
The appointed contractors for the project, Walsh
Construction, have now started to remove ballast from the structure of
This major project is being funded by a £925,000 grant
from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, along with almost £400,000 of
donations from individuals, community organisation, companies and other
For more information and updates on the project,
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