A National Lottery grant of £853,800 to repair the Falling Sands Viaduct in Kidderminster will “safeguard” Severn Valley Railway’s (SVR) future.
Director Shelagh Paterson said the 142-year-old structure has suffered badly over the years, with water seeping deep inside, causing cracks and erosion to the brickwork.
Thanks to the grant, combined with £397,000 in donations and a previous National Lottery Heritage Fund award, restoration work will begin in January. It is expected to be completed by the autumn.
Shelagh added: “When the work is completed, we’ll be able to lift the current speed restriction on our heritage trains, and look forward to at least another century of service from the viaduct.”
Falling Sands Viaduct stands half a mile from SVR’s Kidderminster station. Its impressive seven arches allow heritage trains to cross 64ft above the river Stour.
More than two thirds of the SVR’s annual 250,000 annual visitors begin their journey in Kidderminster, and the viaduct is an essential link between the town and the rest of the 16-mile line.