Weston Mill Viaduct

  • Mar 2008 - Jan 2010
  • £7.3 million
  • Principal Contractor

The Weston Mill Viaduct is ten-span structure which carries the two main lines from Plymouth to Saltash and onto Penzance.

The scope of works included:

  • Structural strengthening and refurbishment of a 10 span rail bridge within a MoD dockyard
  • 600 tonnes of Scaffolding installed onto the structure to provide safe access
  • Encapsulated tunnel created within the bridge, allowing trains to continue to run whilst the refurbishment progresses
  • Three coat glass flake epoxy paint system, finished in Cosmos Blue, applied across 7,500m2 structure
  • 4,062 individual Steelwork Repairs consisting of 54 tonnes of new steel and 53,000 new tension control bolts.

At more than 110 years old and 400m long, the structure spans an expanse of reclaimed land locally known as ‘Camel’s Head Creek’. The steelwork was rapidly deteriorating and there was considerable corrosion in some areas, prompting Network Rail to engage Taziker Industrial (TI) to carry out extensive refurbishment. The structure also carries a redundant public footpath which TI were tasked with removing.

Added Value

The Network Rail Project Manager specifically cited our ability to provide a complete service and our technical expertise as key factors in their decision to award the works to TI. They also understand the value they receive from our provision of directly-employed staff. This enables the site to be managed in a consistent manner with better management of health and safety and improved overall communication with Network Rail.

Work on site was continuous 24 hours a day, with only short possessions required to carry out steelwork repairs. By planning our works carefully, we were able to ensure we could make the most effective use of our time during these possessions. This limited the disruption caused to rail services and meant that the prestigious Paddington to Penzance sleeper train service was not interrupted.

Learning and Innovation

The security surrounding this project was extremely tight, due to its proximity to the HM Naval Base & Royal Dockyards in Plymouth. This meant that all staff needed to be heavily vetted prior to commencing work on site – a process that can take a significant amount of time. This was complicated by the fact that the viaduct spans the security fence bordering the MOD site, restricting the area in which scaffolding is allowed. To address these security problems and ensure that the MOD are comfortable with the works taking place, we installed a swipe card and keypad barrier at the scaffolding access point; ensuring that only people that have been vetted could gain access.