Glenfinnan viaduct to be protected from landslips by Network Rail

17 January 2020 (Last Updated January 17th, 2020 14:22)

UK infrastructure manager Network Rail has commenced the work to protect the Glenfinnan viaduct from landslips, rock-falls and hillsides around the structure.

Glenfinnan viaduct to be protected from landslips by Network Rail
Network Rail is carrying out works to protect the Glenfinnan viaduct in Scotland. Credit: Network Rail

UK infrastructure manager Network Rail has commenced the work to protect the Glenfinnan viaduct from landslips, rock-falls and hillsides around the structure.

The Harry Potter film series features shots of Glenfinnan viaduct, located in the West of the Scottish Highlands.

The project involves an investment of £1.7m. It will include the removal of loose vegetation above the railway and the installation of rock netting.

QTS is carrying out the work on behalf of Network Rail.

These measures aim to protect the rail line running between Mallaig and Fort William. The work will also improve the reliability and resilience of the line for passenger services.

QTC will replace the boundary fence. This will protect visitors who travel on the tourist path for views of the monument, mountains and viaduct. This will also prevent tourists from straying on the railway tracks.

The company will also remove dangerous trees before installing rock netting. Specialist abseil teams will remove smaller vegetation and debris.

It will remove 11,500m2 of vegetation and scale 8,800m2 of the rockface. It will insert 89 rock reinforcement dowels of 3m in length.

Additionally, the work will also install 7,000m2 of draped rockfall netting and 2,800m2 of high tensile rockfall netting.

Network Rail Glenfinnan project manager Diane Jones said: “The work on the line between Fort William and Mallaig is part a wider maintenance programme which identifies areas prone to land-slip or rockfall and proactively works to protect the railway from this.

“With an ever-growing number of tourists visiting the area, it is important that we deliver these works out-with the main tourist season, where possible, or in the evenings so people can continue to get to Glenfinnan by rail.

“Doing this proactively to protect the railway reduces the likelihood of having to carry-out costly emergency repairs but more importantly, it helps avoid any potential closure of this key rural route which is a lifeline connection for passenger and freight.”