Barmouth Viaduct restoration project in UK restarts after summer pause


Network Rail announced that the work to restore the Barmouth Viaduct in Wales, the UK, has recommenced after a pause over the summer.

Opened in 1867, the 731m-long Barmouth Bridge runs over the River Mawddach estuary and is claimed to be one of the longest timber viaducts still in use.

As part of the £30m restoration project, the company is replacing more than 1,000 timber as well as the metal elements of the viaduct.

Additional work on the restoration project includes replacing all the timber main beams as well as the 820m length of track

The upgrade work will not change the viaduct’s appearance and the mechanism for the swing span will remain in place.

The company has worked in collaboration with Gwynedd County Council, Transport for Wales, Cadw and local elected representatives to develop plans to upgrade the bridge.

Transport for Wales CEO James Price said: “The railway has played a vital role in Barmouth’s bounce back this summer - with passenger footfall topping nearby Porthmadog and Pwllheli – and even exceeding the number using the train to travel to South Wales’ famous Barry Island.

“After such a tough eighteen months, it’s been fantastic to see Barmouth so busy, and Network Rail’s investment in the viaduct will help secure the future of the town for generations to come.”

Work on the project will be carried over three years with three shorter closures to avoid disruption.

The metallic spans of the viaduct as well as the associated track will be replaced throughout 2022.

Network Rail will also upgrade the track at the north and south end of the viaduct in 2022.

Network Rail Wales and Borders route director Bill Kelly said: “We have carefully planned our £30m restoration of Barmouth Viaduct so that most of our work takes place outside the peak summer season, but also avoiding the worst of the winter months when bad weather would make the work too challenging.

“The upgrade will allow us to continue to run a safe, reliable and efficient railway, and secure the future of Barmouth Bridge for years to come.”


Rendering of the Barmouth Viaduct in Wales, the UK. Credit: Network Rail.

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