Case Study

Project Overview

Project Activity:

Bridge deck install works in addition to the construction of access steps and resurfacing works to the east abutment.

Summary of Works:

Bennerley Viaduct is a grade 2* listed railway viaduct built in 1877 by the Great Northern Railway Company. At over quarter of a mile long, it is the longest wrought iron viaduct in the country, straddling the River Erewash connecting Ilkeston in Derbyshire with Awsworth in Nottinghamshire. Historic England consider the viaduct is a “stunning example of the genius of British Engineering”.

The Viaduct was closed in 1968, after which it fell into disrepair, eventually it was sold to conservation group Railway Paths Ltd in 2001. Small stages of restoration were carried out in mid-2014 with planning requested for the further improvements to install new decking which join into a network of existing public paths. In 2020, Bennerley Viaduct, fondly known as the “Iron Giant” was 1 of 25 sites listed within the 2020 World Monuments Watch, selected for their cultural significance.

The deck install contract was awarded to Crown Plus in early 2021 directly by Railway Paths. Following additional detailed design and procurement of GRP products, works commenced in September 2021, concluding in January of 2022.  In addition to the bridge deck install works Crown Plus were commissioned to deliver works to construct access steps and resurfacing works to eastern approach ramp.

Paul Thomas of Railway Paths Ltd said:

“It was a pleasure to work with the Crown Plus team on one of our most high profile projects to date, the re-opening of the historic Bennerley Viaduct.

“This was a one-off project, to a unique structure and as usual there were tight budget and time constraints. Crown Plus fully understood the nature of the project and the constraints and worked closely with us, the client team, to find the best set of solutions. I felt we worked as a truly collaborative unit and as a result we achieved all we needed despite external setbacks outside our control.  On top of this I personally observed that the site was well managed, safe working procedures were always followed and communication from site was always both prompt and clear.  In addition, the site team maintained a professional and friendly approach with the vast number of interested parties that was an understandable a constant feature of this job.

“In summary Crown Plus performed well across all aspects of this job and I would not hesitate to recommend Crown Plus for future projects.”

Gary Price, Crown Plus Construction Director said of the scheme: 

“It has been an absolute honour to be involved in this latest programme of restoration and conservation works seeing the “Iron Giant” brought back to its former glory and being enjoyed again by the public, some 54 years after its closure.”



Railway Path Ltd

September 2021 to January 2022

Associated Civils