The closure of the rail line between Stonehaven and Montrose after it collapsed has been extended.
A section of the railway bridge about three miles north of Carmont collapsed almost two weeks ago leading to the line being shut. It will now not reopen until February 22.
Masonry fell from the sidewall which is located approximately one mile away from the scene of last summer’s fatal train derailment.
A full structural assessment has now taken place and engineers will now work to repair the bridge and reopen the railway for passengers and freight customers.
Currently, replacement buses are being put on between the two towns to help commuters who are making essential journeys.
Update: 27/01 @ 15:00 We wanted to give a further update for our passenger and freight customers on the closure of the railway between Stonehaven and Montrose. We know the disruption this is causing. It’s going to remain closed until Monday Feb 22, while repairs are completed. /1 pic.twitter.com/0NEOZuhrRE
— Network Rail Scotland (@NetworkRailSCOT) January 27, 2021
How will it be fixed?
Engineers will be working around-the-clock to fix the damaged sidewall and also provide additional strengthening of the bridge deck beneath the southbound line.
They will first install additional concrete supports on the bridge deck to help support the track.
The parapet wall will then be reconstructed and ties installed to further strengthen the masonry on the structure- which was built in the 1840s.
Once this is done, the ballast and track will be relaid.
Network Rail’s capital delivery director Nick Kinnear revealed that they were trying to get the fix done as quickly and efficiently as possible.
He said: “We’re working hard to quickly deliver these repairs and reopen the line, but these are significant engineering works and will take time to complete.
”The rural location of the bridge and the fact our engineers will be working at considerable height in an exposed location also mean this project is a challenging one for our team.
“We are working around-the-clock to safely reopen the railway as soon as we possibly can for our customers.”
Investigations are still ongoing to establish why the rail bridge broke.
It was last inspected in October 2020 and also received a detailed examination in March 2018, with no significant problems found.
Additional inspections have also been carried out as a precaution on other similar bridges between Aberdeen and Montrose.