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Six-week closure for rail line

 
Created on 13/05/2021 @ 10:06

 

Welshpool rail users will face six weeks of replacement services after Network Rail announced that the line will be closed so that a troubled bridge can be raised.

Engineers begin work to raise Black Bridge, near Machynlleth, on Saturday to reduce passenger delays due to flooding.

The £3.6m project involves heightening the bridge, which runs over the river Dulas, by one metre, enough to significantly reduce the impact from high river levels during storms and heavy rain.  

In recent years, the bridge has been repeatedly flooded in bad weather, causing regular closures on the Machynlleth to Shrewsbury route. 

The railway will be closed until June 28 so that the main work to raise the bridge and reprofile the track can be carried out safely. 

Kevin Giles, senior asset engineer for Network Rail Wales and Borders, said: “This is a big project for us at Network Rail and the first time a railway bridge will have been raised away from flood waters in Wales. 

“The issues of flooding on this line go back more than three decades and the result is that large sections of the Cambrian line in central Wales end up cut-off and isolated while repair work is carried out.

“We want to ensure our passengers have more reliable journeys and this project highlights our dedication to making the railway more resilient in Wales.”  

Transport for Wales said it will provide rail replacement services between Machynlleth and Shrewsbury during this time. 

There will also be an amended timetable in operation from Pwllheli and Aberystwyth to Machynlleth.  

Alexia Course, Transport for Wales’ Transport Operations Director, said: “The much-needed work will help us to provide a more reliable service during periods of bad weather and will benefit passengers using this route for many years to come.  

“Our team will be working hard to support our customers throughout the improvement work. We understand disruption to services is frustrating for our customers, and we would like to thank them in advance for their patience while this work is taking place.” 

The River Dulas is a fish spawning river which means there is a limited time period when Network Rail can carry out the work. The company said it is working in collaboration with Natural Resources Wales and ecological specialists to do everything possible to protect the sensitive local environment. 

 

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