Work has begun to carefully restore an historic railway footbridge for passengers at New Mills Newtown station in the Derbyshire Peak District.

As part of the Great North Rail Project, the 157-year-old stairs and overbridge will be strengthened, and the steel will be grit blasted and fully repainted.

The Grade-II listed Victorian structure was originally built in 1863, six years after the station opened.

Regular maintenance has kept the railway crossing in good condition over the years, but the bridge is now in need of a complete £450,000 restoration.

New Mills Newtown is on the route between Manchester and Buxton.

Tom Syddall, scheme project manager at Network Rail, said: “New Mills Newtown’s 19th century footbridge is a key historic feature of the station. Our restoration work as part of the Great North Rail Project will ensure it remains safe and reliable for decades to come.

“I’d like to thank passengers for bearing with us and using diversions while the much-needed work takes place.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern, said: “The station is a significant part of the community in New Mills and the work being carried out by Network Rail will not only secure the future of the bridge, it will ensure the heritage of the area is maintained.

“We’re working with Network Rail to keep disruption to our customers to a minimum, but there will be some pedestrian diversions while the work is ongoing. I’d like to thank our customers, in advance, for their patience and understanding during the restoration.”

The footbridge will be closed until the end of March to complete the important improvements.

No trains will be disrupted while the work is carried out.

A diversionary walking route for passengers between platforms will be in place during the restoration project.