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Railhub Archive
1997-09-15 RTK-001
Railtrack plc


Railtrack announces restoration of Chappel Viaduct on 150th anniversary

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Chappel Viaduct

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Railtrack plc

Railtrack announces restoration of Chappel Viaduct on 150th anniversary

15 September 1997
source Railtrack plc
type Press release

A 1.1 million restoration programme for Chappel Viaduct is being launched by Railtrack on the 150th anniversary of the laying of the foundation stone.

The work, which is to be launched at a ceremony today, will include repointing and repairs to the brick arches and parapets. The drainage system will also be repaired where necessary and limescale stains cleaned from the brickwork. Scaffolding will be erected in October and engineers will start work on site once it is in place. The project is expected to take six months to complete and will be undertaken while train services continue to operate.

Railtrack has awarded the contract to Jackson Civil Engineering of Ipswich. Railtrack and Jacksons have formed a partnership during the last 18 months, with

Railtrack using Jackson's civil engineering staff to deliver major projects, usually bridge replacements, throughout the East Anglia region.

Railtrack director Michael Holden commented:- "We are delighted to announce this major investment. Chappel Viaduct is a magnificent structure and as the custodian of the nation's railway infrastructure Railtrack is committed to both investing in the railway and preserving listed structures like this one.

"Railtrack is justly proud of its heritage, and although the viaduct has had some work done to it over the last few years, this project will complete the repairs, preparing it for the 21st century," he added.

Today's ceremony will re-enact the one held 150 years ago when the foundation stone was laid.

This time, instead of a stone plaque to commemorate the event, a time capsule will be buried by nine year olds Vicky Moulton and Richard Ingram of Chappel Primary School. As well as photos, plans and details of the restoration work, the capsule will be filled with details of the ceremony and national and local newspapers. A photograph of the school, naming every child and a description of the what school-life is like in 1997 is also being provided.

Dressed in Victorian costume, Railtrack and Jackson's directors will take their lead from their predecessors and exchange ceremonial trowels. The ceremony will finish, as it did in 1847, with a blessing by the local rector, this time the Reverend John Richardson, rector of Chappel.

The 32 span, grade II listed viaduct is the largest single railway structure in East Anglia and is widely acknowledged as being the second largest all-brick-built structure in the country, with Battersea Power Station being the largest.

Railhub Archive ::: 1997-09-15 RTK-001


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