It is one of the most iconic structures in the North of England and now Network rail have used laser scanners and drones to map every inch of the Ribblehead viaduct as part of a major restoration project to secure its future for passengers and tourists.
An essential upgrade to brickwork and drainage is underway on the 144-year-old structure which carries the historic Settle to Carlisle railway 400 metres across the Ribble valley.
As part the £2.1m Great North Rail Project investment, North Yorkshire’s most recognisable railway icon was 3D scanned and turned into a computer model by surveyors.
This detailed digital recreation will help engineers make repairs now and closely monitor areas needing any further attention in the future.
Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “We’re always looking to innovate on the railway and seeing drones and lasers being used to care for such an historic structure is really impressive.
“I was at Ribblehead viaduct when we started work a week ago and saw for myself the huge scaffolding platforms now in place so my team can improve brickwork, mortar and drainage. Great care and attention is going in to make sure our work is right from a heritage perspective. This digital model plays a major role in that as we secure the Grade II listed-structure’s future for passengers and tourists as part of the Great North Rail Project.”
Network Rail has today released the impressive footage of the Victorian viaduct as realised by the 21st century technology.