Mabey helps restore heritage railway footbridge to its former glory

Mabey - Dean Forest Railway
Mabey - Dean Forest Railway

Work will soon start on restoring a historic Victorian footbridge over the Dean Forest Railway that has been closed for a decade. Bridge specialist Mabey, which manufactures and exports modular bridges around the world from its nearby factory in Lydney, has been appointed to undertake the vital repair and restoration work, which will start in June 2018.

Built over 125 years ago, the Grade II listed Victorian bridge which crosses over the railway in Lydney was closed in 2007 and has since fallen into a state of disrepair.

The Dean Forest Railway, which runs between Lydney and Parkend in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, has been campaigning to restore the bridge – the last remaining piece of original Severn & Wye Railway infrastructure.

Funding has been secured through the Rural Development Programme for England; Rural Tourism Infrastructure Growth Programme Funding, Dean Forest Railway: St. Mary’s Pedestrian Bridge Project is part funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development.

Jane Kelly, Project Manager from Dean Forest Railway said: “The St. Mary’s Footbridge is a much-loved heritage site for Lydney and plays a vital role in connecting the local community. While restoring an important piece of history, the restoration will also enable free, all year round, heritage railway tourism, such as trainspotting, for the benefit, appreciation and enjoyment of the local community, visitors and future generations.”

Jane continues, “Thank you to everyone who gave their support to our application for funding. The grant would not have happened without the backing we had, not only from local organisations, but older residents who would use the bridge daily as children.”

Michael Treacy, CEO of Mabey Bridge, said: “We are delighted to be involved in this a project very close to our hearts. While we build and maintain bridges across the world, there is something special about restoring a bridge that is so well-loved by the local community and our employees alike and celebrating an important part of Lydney’s history.”

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