The last scheduled train, before the work began, left Kidderminster for Bridgnorth at 16:40 on Saturday 28th December 2019.
Layer by layer the viaduct fill was removed starting with the ballast, and followed by the stones underneath the track, to uncover the original waterproofing.
To repair the waterproofing, panels of fibre-reinforced concrete were cast over the arches, then expanding sealing strips were placed between the panels and against the side walls.
Nearly 3,000 tonnes of stockpiled fill was put back in and then on top of that was the ballast. On the south side, concrete troughs were laid for signalling cables.
Volunteers and the permanent way team started lifting the track on Monday 30th December 2019 to prepare the site for Walsh Construction.
In January 2020, whilst removing the layers, a live gas main was found and careful hand excavation was undertaken.
Concrete fillets were then placed along both sides to keep the water from seeping out and two coats of special paints, or ‘Black Jack’ was put over the concrete walls. Finally, concrete was poured in to the structure covered with a layer of chippings.
Phase One Complete
On Monday 18th May 2020 work started on repairing the brickwork. The team from CAN started by raking out and re-casing the bricks.
Everything was going well until a bat was seen flying out from one of the arches in June! All work came to a halt as a license was obtained from Natural England.
On Monday 20th July 2020 work finally restarted on repairing the brickwork after a license was obtained. Once again workers were seen dangling off the side of the viaduct from ropes.
In November 2020 decorative brick corbelling is added to the viaduct, although appearances can be deceptive. Despite looking exactly like brick, the corbelling is in fact made of glass reinforced plastic, or GRP.
Four capping stones carved by the SVR’s stonemason Philip Chatfield were lifted into place on the Bewdley end of Falling Sands Viaduct on Thursday 19th November. The stones were originally from a redundant viaduct in Manchester.
Just a few weeks later than planned, and despite setbacks from Covid-19, bats and a live gas main, the final panels of GRP were attached and the work was completed on Thursday 10th December 2020.