HomeInterestHeritageRibblehead Viaduct refurbishment gets underway

Ribblehead Viaduct refurbishment gets underway


Ribblehead viaduct on the Settle and Carline line is both a famous landmark and a Grade II listed structure.

It is also a favourite subject for photographers. Every year, Network Rail sponsors the ‘Lines in the Landscape’ category of the Landscape Photographer of the Year competition. Brian Nunn won the 2020 competition with ‘Ribblehead’, Francis Taylor with ‘Sunshine breaks through, Ribblehead Viaduct’ in 2016 and Robert France in 2015 with ‘Freightliner Coal Train Ribblehead Viaduct’. So it has done well.

‘Ribblehead’ by Brian Nunn. 2020 Lines in the Landscape winner. (click for a larger version)
Sunshine breaks through the Ribblehead Viaduct won the Lines in the Landscape competition for Francis Taylor in 2016. (click for larger version)

Now, however, the iconic North Yorkshire landmark, which opened in 1876 and bridgedg the gap between Ribblehead and Dent on the exposed and windy Batty Moor, is undergoing important maintenance to secure its future for decades to come. In a £2.1m project that will last until February 2021, the 144-year-old viaduct will undergo:

  • Brickwork repairs;
  • Removal of vegetation and repairing the damage caused by plants and weeds;
  • Upgrades to drainage across the viaduct’s 24 arches;
  • Repainting of metal and pipework.
Phil James, Network Rail.

Phil James, North West route director at Network Rail, said: “It’s a privilege to look after so many significant buildings and structures across the rail network, but Ribblehead viaduct has got to be one of the crown jewels of Victorian civil engineering.

“We know the structure is incredibly important both locally and internationally, and we want to give it the care and attention that it deserves so it can be enjoyed by future generations of passengers and sightseers.”

Engineers are in the process of installing scaffolding to provide a safe platform to carry out repairs to the 400-metre-long structure.

Network Rail is working closely with Historic England and the Yorkshire Dales National Park to ensure the work is sympathetically carried out in line with guidance for historically significant structures.

Steve Hopkinson, Northern.

Steve Hopkinson, regional director at Northern, commented: “The viaduct is iconic and we’re really proud to have such a magnificent piece of engineering on our network.

“It is also a vital and much-loved part of the hugely popular Settle-Carlisle line. The work being carried out will ensure future generations are able to enjoy one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the UK.”

Paul Brown, chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line group, added: “This work has come about as a result of regular inspections of the Ribblehead viaduct.  We work closely with Network Rail and welcome this investment in the line’s future.

“The Ribblehead viaduct was once seen as the route’s major weakness.  It is now probably stronger than it was when the Victorians built it.  This work is needed to keep it that way.”

No major disruption is expected for passengers using the Settle-Carlisle line during the viaduct’s 2020 maintenance.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisement -

Latest news

Former Shadow Transport Secretary quits Labour leadership

Andy McDonald, Labour MP for Middlesbrough and former Shadow Secretary of State for Transport, has resigned from the Shadow Cabinet after his position became...

Fatal rail accident in Montana, USA

On Saturday 25 September, Amtrak’s Empire Builder train 7/27, operating a service between Chicago and Seattle/Portland, Oregon, derailed at around 16:00 local time near...

HS2 opens bids for Advanced Civil Works on Phase 2a (Birmingham to Crewe)

HS2 has taken the next step towards building Phase 2a of Britain’s high-speed rail project, which will take it from Birmingham to Crewe, by...
- Advertisement -

More news

Tram hits child cyclist in Manchester

A collision between a tram and a child cyclist near to Audenshaw tram stop, Greater Manchester, is being investigated by the Rail Accident Investigation...

Train strikes trolley in Twickenham

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch (RAIB) is investigating an incident in Twickenham, south London, in which a passenger train hit equipment that had been...

Driving a bridge through Warrington

Network Rail has released a video showing railway bridges being driven through the streets of Warrington. The former Bewsey Street bridge was removed at Warrington...