WORK to refurbish the iconic Dovey Junction viaduct in Powys has been described as a “huge challenge” after being completed ahead of schedule.

Work started at the site, five miles west of Machynlleth, in September 2022 and took eight months, with a pause between March and mid-August 2023 to reduce the impact on wildlife.

Engineers worked in storms and extreme weather while coping with flooding and a lot of mud to complete the precise project – which involved replacing and restoring the metallic elements of the Grade II* listed structure on a like-for-like basis. This included maintaining the historic aesthetic of the 154-year-old railway bridge, whilst demonstrating innovative 21st century engineering.

The work has been completed earlier than planned, although Network Rail announced that the railway will remain closed between Machynlleth and Pwllheli until December 3.


Network Rail’s route director for Wales and Borders, Nick Millington, said: “It has been a huge challenge to complete the refurbishment of Dovey Junction viaduct, working in storms and extreme weather while coping with flooding and a lot of mud.

“As well as completing the job safely, great care was taken to protect the environment along this beautiful stretch of railway and to recycle materials.

“We'd like to thank the local community and our passengers for their patience during this work and as we continue our restoration further along the line at Barmouth viaduct.

“These two projects will boost the resilience and reliability of this line for generations to come.”

The Dovey Junction station is in Powys, but is only a few hundred yards away from the county meets Ceredigion and Gwynedd.

The 360ft-long viaduct carries the Cambrian Line over the Afon Dyfi through the habitats of the area’s protected species, including ospreys and grey geese. The Dyfi Osprey Project is located nearby.

Built in 1863, the historical timber structure has 15 pairs of wooden piles buried deep into the bed of the estuary, posing numerous challenges for the Network Rail team and contractor, AmcoGiffen.

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The tidal nature of the Afon Dyfi meant that the environment was ever-changing, and the use of pontoons to access each of the wooden structures allowed the work to be carried out safely.

The team successfully replaced parts of the wooden structure with Glass Reinforced Plastic (GRP) resin, a polymer made from recycled plastic, with the aim of making it more durable.

About 77 tonnes of timber removed from the structure was reused, and 90 metres of track panels is going to the Gwili Railway heritage line.

AmcoGiffen operations director Andy Crowley said: “The whole project truly showcases what genuine, deep-rooted collaboration will look like in the years to come.”

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Chief customer and culture officer at Transport for Wales, Marie Daly, added: “This significant investment in the Cambrian Line by Network Rail will strengthen resilience on the route for many years to come and help us to provide more consistent services for our customers.

“Rail replacement buses remain in place until December 3 and there are some changes to the bus routes in Barmouth from November 6 due to work being carried out by Welsh Water, so it’s important passengers continue to check for the latest information before travelling.”

Passengers are advised to check before they travel at for more information.