FUTURISTIC technology is playing an important part in the £2.1m restoration of an historic viaduct.

As part of the Great North Rail Project investment into Ribblehead Viaduct, laser scanners and drones have been used to map every inch of the iconic Dales landmark.

The bridge has been 3D scanned and turned into a computer model by surveyors.

This detailed digital recreation will help engineers make repairs now and closely monitor areas needing any further attention in the future.

Phil James, Network Rail’s North West route director, said: “We’re always looking to innovate on the railway and seeing drones and lasers being used to care for such an historic structure is really impressive.

“I was at Ribblehead viaduct when we started work a week ago and saw for myself the huge scaffolding platforms now in place so my team can improve brickwork, mortar and drainage.

The Northern Echo:

"Great care and attention is going in to make sure our work is right from a heritage perspective.

"This digital model plays a major role in that as we secure the Grade II listed-structure’s future for passengers and tourists as part of the Great North Rail Project.”

Network Rail has released the impressive footage of the Victorian viaduct as realised by the 21st century technology.

The maintenance work is taking place between now and February next year.