Famous ‘Harry Potter’ Viaduct To Be Repaired

The Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland of Hogwarts Express fame is to be urgently repaired for defects before undergoing a more comprehensive renovation programme.

The Glenfinnan Viaduct in Scotland which is famed worldwide for featuring in the Harry Potter films is to be urgently repaired before undergoing a more comprehensive renovation programme. New Civil Engineer reports that Network Rail have identified defects in the structure of the historic viaduct.

The viaduct was built between 1897 and 1898 by the contractors Robert McAlpine & Sons. It was built from mass concrete without any metal reinforcements and is comprised of 21 arches, each spanning 15 m in length. The whole structure is 380 m in length and 30 m at its highest point over the River Finnan.

The viaduct carries the West Highland Line to connect Fort William and Mallaig, and is now a popular tourist attraction, particularly after being used as the route of the Hogwarts Express in the Harry Potter films. Passengers can enjoy stunning views of towering Highland Mountains and sweeping lochs.

Recent reports into the safety of the structure have found that the concrete is deteriorating in places, which is threatening the stability and structural integrity of the viaduct. The report stated: “The process of leaching increases the porosity of the cement matrix of the concrete, leading to a loss of strength relative to other parts of the structure.”

Network Rail’s urgent defect report said: “The additional concrete support lintel that has been added along the underside of all refuges in recent years is also fractured and displaced in this refuge, indicating further movement.”

Network Rail will begin a series of repairs to remedy cracks, drainage issues and other defects. They have issued a statement confirming that these will be carried out over the next year to ensure that the viaduct is safe to use for years to come. It is estimated to bring in about £35m a year in tourism revenue.

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