Engineers have been working on the 170-year-old structure since January 2022 to repair all 28 arches of the Grade I listed bridge, which sits across the River Tweed and transports freight goods and passengers between England and Scotland along the East Coast Main Line.
In November 2022, the opportunity was spotted to make further repairs to bridge, keeping it strong and reliable for years to come. Teams used an innovative rope access system to complete the repairs, rather than building scaffolding spanning the entire bridge. This saved around £5 million on the overall cost of the project and means that the bridge has remained fully open to services on this vital route between England and Scotland.
The 40-metre structure has been an iconic part of Berwick-upon-Tweed’s landscape for over a century. We last did work on the bridge in 1993, so this work was essential to restoring the bridge to its former glory.
Because the bridge is Grade I listed, Network Rail worked closely with Historic England to make sure the brickwork is in keeping with the rich heritage of the iconic structure.
Jon Calvert, Principal Portfolio Manager at Network Rail, said: “It is great that this major project to restore the iconic Royal Border Bridge has now been completed.
“By working innovatively, we’ve managed to make major savings and keep a vital part of the railway open to passengers during the programme of work. The repairs will mean that we won’t need to complete any major maintenance work for the next 30 years and I’m delighted that the bridge is back to its former glory.”
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