A 181-year-old viaduct designed by railway pioneer George Stephenson has been painstakingly restored to improve passenger journeys in the Calder Valley.
Network Rail has now removed scaffolding to reveal the repainted and repaired Grade II listed Gauxholme viaduct in Todmorden.
The essential maintenance to the 1840-built structure was completed as part of a £3.7m Great North Rail Project investment.
A before and after video released today (Thursday 27 May) shows how the important piece of railway heritage has been brought back to its Victorian splendour.
As part of the same investment, nearby Taylors bridge, which carries the railway over Rose Bank Road near Todmorden station, was completely reconstructed.
Kathryn Berry, scheme project manager for Network Rail, said: “It’s extremely satisfying to finally unwrap this iconic structure from the scaffolding and reveal Gauxholme viaduct once again in all its Victorian glory. Along with the work to Taylors bridge, this is a major investment for Todmorden to improve railway journeys in the Calder Valley.
“We have been working closely with Calderdale Council throughout and thank passengers, road users and the local community for their patience while we carried out this essential work.”
Tony Baxter, regional director at Northern, said: “It’s fantastic that such an important piece of local railway heritage will continue to serve Northern’s customers. The repair and renovation work will give our customers in the Calder Valley better journeys for years to come.”
The viaduct, which spans the Rochdale canal, was strengthened, deep cleaned and repainted black as requested by the local authority.
Cllr Jane Scullion, Calderdale Council’s cabinet member for regeneration and strategy, said: “It’s great news that work to Gauxholme viaduct is now complete with this historic structure restored to its former glory.
“We’ve supported Network Rail throughout the project and we were pleased to provide advice to ensure the works were in keeping with the special industrial and architectural character of the bridge. The finished work looks really impressive and is a distinctive landmark along the Calder Valley line.”
Craig Whittaker, MP for Calder Valley, said: “I am delighted that restoration work on the Grade II listed Gauxholme viaduct in Todmorden has now been completed to its former glory, something which George Stephenson would be very proud of. I am incredibly grateful to the team who have completed the work to a high standard. Even in the rain , the structure now looks magnificent. I am equally delighted that the Taylors Bridge has been completely reconstructed.”
The canal towpath is now also fully reopened to pedestrians after the major upgrade.
To read more about how Network Rail looks after heritage structures, visit: www.networkrail.co.uk/who-we-are/our-history/working-with-railway-heritage/