Since summer 2020, Network Rail engineers have been working to repair the Oxted Viaduct. Passengers travelling on the line from South Croydon to Uckfield will cross over the improved Victorian structure, which was built in 1881.
The upgrades, costing £10.5 million, allowed for the twelve roller bearings to be replaced, which involved lifting the viaduct’s supporting columns to put the bearings in place.
These bearing are crucial to the viaduct, as they not only support the bridge’s weight but allow the bridge to adapt to changes in heat.
Furthermore, there have been repairs to brickwork, the steelwork has been cleaned and painted with protective paint, and the old timber bridge deck has been replaced.
Credit: Network Rail
Katie Frost, Network Rail’s Sussex route director, which also covers Surrey and South London, said: “The Oxted Viaduct is one of the most iconic railway structures in the south of England. Working on it and protecting such an important part of railway heritage has been a real honour.
“It also remains a vital piece of the operational railway today, so while it was great to protect our heritage, it was also essential to keep lines open and trains running safely and reliably.
“A massive thank you to our railway neighbours who have had to put up with noise from our work over the past few years.”
Chris Fowler, customer services director for Southern, said: “This is good news for our customers and for the many admirers of this iconic Victorian viaduct.”