Train services between Newcastle and Scotland return to normal as Plessey Viaduct reopens

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All services, including LNER, will return to normal capacity as of Monday 6 November. Credit: Network Rail

Train services which connect the North East to Scotland have returned to normal after repair work to a damaged viaduct was completed.

There has been disruption on the East Coast Main Line since Sunday 8 October, when a parapet on Plessey Viaduct, near Morpeth, Northumberland, was found to be damaged during planned engineering work.

As a result, a reduced service has been running, as only one of four lines remained open.

There was major disruption on the rail network as the emergency repairs to the viaduct were carried out. Credit: David Horne/Twitter

All services, including LNER, will return to normal capacity as of Monday 6 November.

Over the last month, the 170-year-old structure has been strengthened by concrete units and steel underpinning, a spokesperson for Network Rail said.

Engineers have also installed 200 metres of new track across the viaduct.

Network Rail said the parapet had moved, displacing about 30 tonnes of masonry and concrete.

Due to the site location, design of the viaduct, and the heavy machinery needed, moving the parapet back to its original location was not viable.

The five-arch viaduct was constructed in the late 1840s by Robert Stephenson and is Grade II-listed.

Paul Rutter, a spokesperson for Network Rail, said: “We want to thank passengers for their patience and understanding while we have carried out this urgent and vital repair work on Plessey Viaduct.

“Our teams have worked around the clock to fix the viaduct and allow trains to return to a normal service on the East Coast Main Line, battling the adverse weather that Storm Babet delivered.

“We are sorry for the disruption that this damage has caused, but our work at Plessey Viaduct will deliver safer and more reliable journeys for all our passengers."

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