A CHARITY has launched an appeal to raise £1.5 million for urgent repairs to the 120-year-old Stanway Viaduct.

The 15-arch brick-built structure has been suffering from the effects of water penetration over many decades.

The GWRT appeal hopes to address the structural problems through a two-phase project to install a new waterproof layer and repair brickwork subsequently damaged by water ingress.

The charity has said the work is essential to prevent severing the link to Broadway and resulting in trains having to terminate at Toddington.

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The remedial work on the viaduct will be carried out by specialist contractors working for GWSR Plc.

Track work will be undertaken by the railway's track volunteer maintenance team.

Evesham Journal: GWR 'Modified Hall' Locomotive No. 7903 'Foremarke Hall' crossing Stanway Viaduct.GWR 'Modified Hall' Locomotive No. 7903 'Foremarke Hall' crossing Stanway Viaduct. (Image: Jack Boskett)

The track and ballast will need to be removed, followed by cleaning of the deck, installation of a concrete layer to ensure water flows towards the catch pits and the application of two waterproofing layers before replacing the ballast and track.

Philip Young, GWRT chairman, said: “The Stanway Viaduct is an integral part of the living museum and we are therefore delighted to be able to run this appeal in support of the GWSR.

"I would like to thank everyone who is able to donate, however small, as your generosity will help us secure the future of this iconic structure.

"If you are a UK tax payer, please consider adding Gift Aid to your donation.”

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Richard Johnson, GWSR PLC chairman, said: “The necessity of securing funding to undertake the necessary remedial work to this structure is apparent from the detail above and statements made by our Civil Engineering Director.

"We cannot delay; the work needs to be undertaken as soon as possible so please do support the appeal.”

The Stanway Viaduct is the largest structure on the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway.

Donations can be made either through the online donations’ portal on the GWRT website, by visiting the Trust Office at Toddington Station, or by filling out an appeal leaflet.

The Gloucestershire Warwickshire Railway Trust is an independent charity whose aim is to support and maintain the Gloucestershire Warwickshire Steam Railway as a living museum.

For more information and to donate to the Stanway Viaduct appeal, you can visit www.gwrt.org.uk.