Network Rail and the Environment Agency joined forces at Littleborough near Rochdale to build a culvert to drain water underneath tracks when the River Roach bursts its banks.
This happened during Storm Frank on Boxing Day in 2015, leading to homes and roads being swamped in the Rochdale and Littleborough area.
The £56m culvert, built by J Murphy & Sons, will enable the Environment Agency to direct water away, reducing the risk of damage to communities or travel disruption.
During a nine-day closure of the Calder Valley line last month, 35-metres of railway track was ripped up and the embankment excavated – 2,000 tonnes of spoil removed – to allow a precast concrete drainage system to be lifted in by crane. Sixteen base slabs and 39 culvert units each weighing 24 tonnes were installed
To minimise disruption to passengers, the scheme was done at the same time as work to replace track inside the nearby Summit Tunnel between 23rd and 31st October 2021.
Ben Scott, area flood and coastal risk manager for the Environment Agency, said: “This is a complex scheme, which has taken time to design, and strong relationships have been developed with a range of key partners. Once completed, the project will be one of the biggest flood alleviation schemes in the north of England. It will protect people, property and key infrastructure such as the railway line, which is the life blood of the community, from the risk of flooding as well as enhancing the natural environment.”