REPAIRS to a bridge will not disrupt rail services and will not change its distinctive appearance, Network Rail has said.

Network Rail announced the Glenfinnan Viaduct, which operates between Fort William and Mallaig in the Scottish Highlands, will undergo £3.4 million in repairs.

Engineers will assess the strength of the viaduct, while carrying out work to protect it from water erosion, and will later complete concrete repairs and make improvements beneath the track.

Work on the viaduct, which is known globally for featuring in the Harry Potter films, will take just under a year to complete.

A start date for the work has yet to be announced.

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Network Rail said there would be no disruption to trains that operate on the line while maintenance is carried out, and said the structure’s appearance would remain the same.

Laura Craig, scheme project manager at Network Rail, said: “The viaduct is an iconic landmark which attracts visitors from across the world, so we’ve worked hard to develop a solution which will help preserve the structure, respect its historic significance while minimising the visual impact of our work.”

Mark Ilderton, service delivery director for ScotRail, added: “ScotRail journeys on the West Highland line, taking in the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct, are incredibly popular and it is fantastic to see this work being carried out by our colleagues at Network Rail Scotland.

“There will be no disruption to any of our services during the work, and we look forward to giving as many people as possible the chance to experience the journey in the coming weeks and months."

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Network Rail is working with Highland Council, the landowners and stakeholders to make sure work is carried out as sensitively as possible.

This includes using carefully selected stone for the repairs that match the existing masonry.

Councillor Ken Gowans, chairman of The Highland Council’s economy and infrastructure committee, said: “The scenic rail journey has become a hugely popular route between Fort William and Mallaig.

“It is very popular with Harry Potter fans and attracts visitors from across the world.

“In addition, it also provides a valued service to those living and working in the communities it passes through, so it is essential that repair works and works to safeguard the route’s future is carried out.”