Forth Viaduct improvement works complete

Forth Viaduct improvement works complete

Network Rail engineers have successfully completed a £2.7m programme of work to repair, repaint and install a permanent GRP walkway for the use of our maintenance and engineering staff on the bridge at the Forth Viaduct, Stirling.

In January 2022, Network Rail commenced major improvements on the Forth Viaduct in Stirling, extending the lifespan of the bridge and ensuring work on this scale won’t be needed for another 25 years.

During an eight-month programme the wrought iron viaduct was repaired and re-painted as part of Network Rail’s ongoing structures work to deliver a safe and reliable railway.

Work began by erecting scaffolding along the 20m span of the 10m high bridge. This allowed the structure to be encapsulated so critical steelwork repairs could take place, including the removal and replacement of 300 steel rivets.

Other elements of work involved grit blasting to remove old paint and rust before then completely repainting the metalwork, with over 4500m2 of paint used. More than100 tonnes of grit was used as well as 3000 litres of paint taking in excess of 6000 hours worked to complete the blasting and painting operations.

A new permanent walkway was installed through the structure and provides access for our engineers to undertake general maintenance to the viaduct when required.

Project Timeline

  1. Phase 1: Site set-up, piling and scaffolding begins, and Lovers Walk closes to traffic
  2. Phase 2: Piling and scaffolding continues, jacking of structure and metalworks completed, painting commences.
  3. Phase 3: Scaffolding and painting completed, site demobilisation begins, and Lovers Walk re-opens to traffic (October)


The work, designed to protect and extend the lifespan of the bridge, is part of a wider, rolling programme of maintenance aimed at keeping the network safe and reliable.

The work is all part of a multi-billion-pound investment to improve Scotland’s railway. Network Rail will spend more than £4bn in Scotland, and £42bn across Britain, to increase reliability and improve performance between 2019 and 2024.

What will change?

Network Rail carried out essential steelwork repairs before removing the old paint and rust and then priming and re-painting the structure.

Completion of the work means the structure, featuring a new GRP walkway, is stronger, meets current safety standards and won’t require repainting for up to two decades.

What will change?

Neighbour updates

Neighbour Notification Forth Viaduct FINAL (pdf, 161KB)