Work to salvage the Stonehaven-Montrose railway line is underway

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The railway line between Stonehaven and Montrose is to remain closed until February 22 as engineers work to carry out repairs to a damaged bridge between the towns.

The railway bridge, built in the 1840s, has been closed since January 15 after masonry fell from the side wall on the south side.

Full structural assessments on the bridge, five kilometers north of Carmont, have now been carried out by specialist Network Rail engineers and plans are in place to repair the bridge and reopen the track for passengers and freight customers .

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Engineers will be working around the clock to repair the damaged side wall and provide additional reinforcement to the bridge deck below the southbound line.

They will first install additional concrete supports on the bridge deck to help retain and support the track and ballast.

The side wall was then rebuilt and tie rods installed on the deck to further reinforce the masonry of the structure. Once this work is completed, the ballast and track will be reimbursed.

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Railway network invests over £300m between 2019 and 2024 in renewing and renovating bridges and spends £10m each year inspecting structures.

Additional inspections were also carried out as a precaution on other similar bridges between Aberdeen and Montrose, and elsewhere on the Scottish Railway.

Kris Kinnear, Network Rail’s Capital Delivery Manager for Scotland’s Railway, said: “We are working hard to quickly deliver these repairs and reopen the line, but these are major engineering works which will take time.

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“The rural location of the bridge and the fact that our engineers will be working at considerable height in an exposed location also means this project is a challenge for our team.

“We are working around the clock to safely reopen the railway as soon as possible for our customers.”

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