The original viaduct at this location, designed by Brunel, was opened as part of the extended railway from Angarrack to Penzance on 11 March 1852. The Hayle Railway’s Hayle station opened in 1837 was located at road level just to the south of current viaduct.
The GWR replaced the original viaduct with the current structure in 1885, though unlike the rest of the Cornish Viaducts it has never had much in the way of grace or beauty. It has 36 arches and a total length of 831’ with a maximum height of 34’.
John Binding, in his excellent book ‘Brunel’s Cornish Viaducts’ published 1993 reported that ‘One of the piers, on the up side has settled by as much a 12”, the wrought iron span being packed to adjust, has continued in service without further deterioration.’
However, further checks have found subsidence evident on four piers the footings of which lie in the original creek bed. BAM Nuttall is carrying out the essential repairs for Network Rail. These commenced on July 30th and due for completion on October 22nd. The repairs comprise the stabilisation of the piers. Further work is planned in 2014 or 2015 to strengthen the decks of the viaduct – this will involve all the spans.