MORE information about a £2.1 million maintenance scheme at Ribblehead Viaduct has been revealed by Network Rail.

Work on the Grade II listed Victorian structure is scheduled to start in July and continue until October. No major disruption is expected for passengers using the Settle to Carlisle line during the maintenance.

The 144-year-old viaduct with its 24 arches will have its drainage improved and brickwork restored making journeys for passenger and freight trains more reliable.

Scaffolding will be installed on sections of the 400m structure so engineers can work safely.

Paul Brown, chairman of the Friends of the Settle-Carlisle Line group, said: “This work has come about as a result of regular inspections of the Ribblehead viaduct.

“We work closely with Network Rail and welcome this investment in the line’s future.

“The Ribblehead viaduct was once seen as the route’s major weakness. It is now probably stronger than it was when the Victorians built it. This work is needed to keep it that way.”

Ribblehead Viaduct opened in 1876 bridging the gap between Ribblehead and Dent on the exposed and windy Batty Moor.

The planned work will include brickwork repairs along the structure, removal of vegetation and repairing the damage caused by plants and weeds and upgrades to drainage systems across the viaduct’s 24 arches

There will also be repainting of metal and pipework in one universal colour.

Marc Vipham, route asset manager for structures at Network Rail, said: “It’s a privilege to look after so many significant buildings and structures across the rail network, but Ribblehead viaduct has got to be one of the crown jewels of Victorian civil engineering.

“We know that the structure is incredibly important both locally and internationally, and we want to give it the care and attention that it deserves so that it can be enjoyed by future generations of both passengers and sightseers.”

Network Rail is working closely with Historic England and the Yorkshire Dales National Park to ensure the work is sympathetically carried out in line with guidance for historically significant structures.

Steve Hopkinson, regional director at Northern, said: “The viaduct is iconic and we’re really proud to have such a magnificent piece of engineering on our network.

“It is also a vital - and much loved – part of the hugely popular Settle - Carlisle Line and the work being carried out will ensure future generations are able to enjoy one of the most beautiful rail journeys in the UK.”

On Tuesday, May 19, Ribblehead viaduct is due to feature in a new television series called ‘The Architecture the Railways Built’.

The full episode will be broadcast at 8pm on Yesterday channel.