Landmark repairs have begun on a Victorian railway bridge that famously appears in the Harry Potter films.
Bridge 27 carries the North Yorkshire Moors Railway over Eller Beck on the approach to Goathland Station.
The 180-year-old structure can be seen in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, with Goathland's platforms standing in for the Hogwarts station, Hogsmeade.
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The 20-metre bridge is being restored and a new frame constructed at the Cleveland Bridge UK plant in Darlington.
The components will be transported by road to Middlesbrough and then taken by rail to Goathland in early 2020.
The Bridge 27 project is part of Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey, a huge funding drive to enable vital regeneration work to take place on the preserved heritage line.
Staff at the Cleveland Bridge UK factory will conduct a trial assembly of the structure to ensure the on-site installation goes smoothly.
The company's head of operational delivery Jim Mawson said:-
“We are exceptionally proud to be part of such a landmark restoration project at one of the most iconic heritage railway lines in the world. It’s really pleasing to see our contemporary production methods using modern materials so perfectly blended with the classic design of this bridge to ensure it fits seamlessly into its National Park surroundings.”
Yorkshire's Magnificent Journey has received grants from the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Rural Payments Agency, Local Enterprise Partnership and donations from members of the public. Around 90 per cent of the funds required have so far been raised, but another £1million is still needed over the next three years.
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NYMR Trust chairman John Bailey added:
“The restoration of Bridge 27 marks the beginning of our exciting plans to preserve the railway’s historical infrastructure and assets and improve visitor services and experiences for future generations to come.
“Everyone at the railway would like to thank the grant funding agencies and our generous donors who’ve made it possible. These are exciting times for everyone who cares for the railway, our visitors, supporters, staff and volunteers. This is the most ambitious project we’ve ever undertaken and will build on our successful growth in recent years, so we can all achieve even more in the future.”
Ongoing projects include adapting carriages to improve accessibility, opening a new carriage maintenance facility at Pickering and renewing the bridges near Goathland.
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Currently, the NYMR's carriages have to be stored outdoors, which leaves them exposed to the elements and makes them more difficult to keep in top condition.