Bridges improvement plan for Cheshire will revitalise landmarks.(Network Rail)

Cheshire’s most iconic railway bridges and viaducts are being revitalised thanks to a £17m investment by Network Rail as part of the Railway Upgrade Plan. 

   Holmes Chapel viaduct

Holmes Chapel viaduct is a Grade II listed landmark in Cheshire.(Network Rail Picture)

Network Rail will refurbish four bridges and two viaducts during an 11-day closure of the Crewe to Manchester and Sandbach to Northwich railway lines, from 13 to 24 February 2016.

The vital work will make the railway safer and more reliable for passengers, motorists, pedestrians and canal users across the county.

Two of Cheshire’s most well-known architectural landmarks, the Grade-II listed viaducts at Holmes Chapel and Peover, will have a full makeover as part of the programme. Water stains on the walls of both viaducts will be removed, damaged brickwork repaired and both structures waterproofed.

At the same time, Network Rail engineers will undertake strengthening work to the Hungerford Road bridge in Crewe, Shipbrook Road bridge in Rudheath, and to the Whatcroft underbridge and the Trent and Mersey Canal bridge in Davenham.

We are committed to delivering this major investment programme to improve the long-term reliability of a number of iconic and integral railway structures in Cheshire.

To ensure the safety of our staff and passengers while we undertake this vital work, the Crewe to Manchester and Sandbach to Northwich railway lines will be closed to both passenger and freight services. I would like to apologise to passengers in advance for any disruption this may cause.

We care about passengers and by delivering these improvements as a package we have minimised the level of disruption and reduced the need for future maintenance work. We have also saved half a million pounds, which we can spend on further improvements elsewhere on the railway.”

Terry Strickland, area director for Network Rail

The 11-day closure of these routes will mean that services to Manchester from London and South Wales (and vice versa) will temporarily bypass Crewe and be diverted via Macclesfield and Stockport. Local rail services will also be affected between Wilmslow, Stockport and Crewe.

Replacement bus services will be provided and alternative routes signposted for all passengers who are affected. Passengers are advised to check their journey before travelling.