Network Rail upgrades Rannoch viaduct in Highlands


Rannoch viaduct in Highlands

The West Highland line has reopened after Network Rail engineers completed a £1.6M set of vital modifications to the Rannoch viaduct.


Work to extend the operational lifespan of the 208m long steel structure took place during a nine-day closure of the line, from Saturday 16 March until Monday 25 March.


The work involved replacing 50 longitudinal timbers (way beams) which support the rail. The viaduct previously had softwood timbers which had reached the end of their operational life.


The baseplates and rails throughout the structure were also replaced.


Rannoch viaduct is a single-track lattice girder viaduct that was completed in 1894. Its 208m length is divided into nine girder parts each 21.5m long.


It is just north of Rannoch station where the line crosses a deep bog.


During the nine-day closure, Network Rail engineers also completed renewals on several sections of track between Tyndrum and Roy Bridge and between Spean Bridge and Arisaig.


In addition, engineers modernised the railway signalling system in and on the approaches to Fort William station and within the signal box. This included moving some signalling posts and upgrading the signalling lights to LED.


Network Rail project manager for Rannoch viaduct project Zoe Monkhouse said: “Our team has worked around-the-clock to deliver this project safely and efficiently and to get the line re-opened for passengers as planned.


“This investment will extend the lifespan of the structure, improving the long-term reliability of the line, and we are pleased to have completed the work on time.


“We would like to thank passengers for their patience during the project.”


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