Engineers are carrying out important repair work on the Reddish Vale viaduct in the Tame Valley.
The project got underway after an inspection spotted fast-flowing water from the River Tame had caused the riverbed to wash away.
The viaduct, in the Reddish Vale area of Stockport, was built in 1875 and carries the railway over the Tame Valley. Train services using the viaduct connect Manchester to Sheffield on the Hope Valley line.
About 2,500 tonnes of large boulders, or ‘rock armour’, are being installed at the foundations of the structure.
The immediate repairs will make sure the viaduct’s foundations are not at risk of erosion and trains can safely travel on the Hope Valley line for years to come.
Chris Pye, North West infrastructure director at Network Rail, said: “We’re carrying out vital work to protect Reddish Vale viaduct and the riverbed from erosion caused by fast-flowing water to ensure passenger and freight trains can continue to run safely on the Hope Valley line.
“I would like to thank local residents and businesses for their patience and understanding while the work takes place. I appreciate it’s not ideal to have large machines near your homes. We’re doing all we can to limit the impact wherever possible.”
Train services are still able to run over the structure at the usual 50mph line speed.
Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern said: “Improvements like these are essential in delivering our long-term strategy to create a better railway for the north and is a great example of the rail industry working together to improve the network.
“We are sorry for any disruption while the work takes place, and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to keep them on the move.”
Andrew Gwynne, MP for Denton and Reddish, said: “This is really urgent work, and I’m very pleased that Network Rail are taking action before any further erosion occurs.
“The Reddish Vale viaduct is not only an iconic piece of architecture for both Reddish and Denton, but also a vital transport and rail link. It’s important that we protect it for generations to come.”
Nearby residents have been told about the work, which is set to be completed by February 2022.