Aln Valley Railway launches £150,000 appeal to restore historic Cawledge viaduct

A new appeal has been launched to raise £150,000 for the world’s oldest masonry heritage railway viaduct.

Friday, 10th June 2022, 2:06 pm

The 172-year-old Cawledge viaduct between Alnwick and Alnmouth is being restored by Aln Valley Railway.

Over the last 10 years it has made steady progress towards its ultimate aim of building the railway from Lionheart Station, Alnwick to Alnmouth Station, and has reached the halfway point.

This has involved doing costly repair work to the Cawledge viaduct, which was designed by Robert Stephenson to carry the Alnwick branch line over the Cawledge Burn.

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A £150,000 funding appeal to restore Cawledge viaduct has been launched. Picture: Tom Lloyd

The first stage of the repair work was to waterproof the deck – and thanks to Aln Valley Railway supporters’ generosity the £100,000 funds for this were raised in just six months, enabling the work to be carried out at the end of 2021.

Now the railway faces the challenging second stage, which involves repairing the damaged archways underneath the viaduct.

Aln Valley Railway need to raise around £150,000 (including gift aid) through its Bricks and Pieces Appeal.

The railway, which is entirely run by volunteers, is inviting supporters to sponsor sections of the viaduct; these are split into packages, starting from £50 – with the top platinum package, including a guided tour of the completed works and the donor’s name on a plaque on the viaduct, at £1,000. However any donation will be very welcome.

Aln Valley Railway.

By donating to the Bricks and Pieces appeal, people can help to secure a future for the historic Cawledge viaduct and at the same time help Aln Valley Railway to progress with the journey to Alnmouth.

Aln Valley Railway trustee Gemma Maughan said: “As we launch this appeal, we are very much aware that there is currently a cost of living crisis, which is affecting our supporters. It also affects the railway.

"We are all tightening our belts – which is why we recognise the value and importance of any donation which people can make, even more than ever.

"Thanks in advance for any support which supporters can give us at this challenging time, to help save the world’s oldest masonry heritage viaduct – we will be extremely grateful.’

A steam train goes over the Cawledge viaduct.

To donate to the Bricks and Pieces appeal visit https://www.alnvalleyrailway.co.uk