Network Rail and train operators are urging passengers travelling on services to, from and through Morpeth to check before travelling as repair work to Plessey Viaduct takes place.
A parapet on the viaduct, which is on the East Coast Main Line between Cramlington and Morpeth, was found to be damaged during planned engineering work earlier this month. This means that a reduced service has been in place since Sunday 8 October.
Whilst the structural integrity of the viaduct has not been affected, specialist engineers from Network Rail need to carry out repair work to allow a full service to resume once more.
The repairs will see work to strengthen and rebuild the parapet wall. To do this, teams will install pre-cast concrete units to the structure, and carry out steel pinning. Once this is complete, teams will work to install 200 metres of new track, as well as ballast, the stones which support the rails.
The work to carry out full repairs will complete by Monday 6 November. Teams from Network Rail will be carrying out the repairs overnight to minimise the impact for passengers.
Until the final repair work is complete, there will still be changes to some services in the area, with trains not calling at Morpeth in the southbound direction. There will be bus replacement services between Newcastle and Morpeth, and customers travelling between Newcastle and Manors may use their ticket on Tyne & Wear Metro services, between these locations only.
Passengers planning on travelling in this area are urged to check their journey ahead of time via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.
Paul Rutter, route director for Network Rail’s East Coast route, said: “We’re really sorry to all passengers who have been impacted by the damaged parapet wall on Plessey Viaduct.
“Our teams are working to rebuild the parapet and relay the track, which will allow a full service to resume once more. However, it is going to take us a number of weeks due to the nature of the location we are working at.
“We are carrying out the repairs overnight to minimise service impact, and we’re working closely with industry colleagues to get passengers where they need to be. However, we do understand the inconvenience this is having and we’re really grateful for your patience.
“We encourage passengers to continue to check before travelling via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.”
Image credit: Network Rail