Twemlow Viaduct

Refurbishment of the iconic Twemlow viaduct in Cheshire

Project outline

Twemlow viaduct in Holmes Chapel will be completely refurbished as part of Network Rail’s on-going railway upgrade plan. This includes the removal of water stains on the walls, repairs to brickwork and the installation of new waterproofing and drainage.

Key challenges

Works to the top of the Grade II listed viaduct, which includes the railway line, needed to be carried out during an 11 day closure during February 2016, in order to cause the least amount of disruption to the public. This meant that work could be carried out in one continuous block.

Project delivery and innovations

£500,000 was saved by completing the works to the top of the viaduct in one continuous 11 day blockade, rather than over six separate weekends. Additional works were also completed by Network Rail on the Crewe to Manchester line whilst the blockade was in place.  

The railway track was removed and pre-cast concrete units were laid along with waterproofing and a brand new drainage system which will protect the brickwork for another 125 years.

Refurbishment of the brickwork, which will include repairing cracks using crack-stitching, re-casing and pointing works, will be carried out up to November 2016.

Key facts

  • The viaduct was built in 1841 by the Manchester and Birmingham Railway Company and designed by George W Buck
  • It is 520m long and consists of 23 semi-circular arches, each with a span of 18 metres
  • 6-8 pre-cast concrete slabs were laid per hour during the refurbishment of the top of the viaduct in February 2016
  • 68,000 bricks will be replaced over the course of the entire refurbishment


Network Rail


Holmes Chapel, Cheshire

Completion Date

November 2016



Capabilities Demonstrated

  • Bridges
  • Engineering
  • Design

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