A new project to protect the iconic Glenfinnan Viaduct from rock falls and landslides is underway, Network Rail has announced.

The £1.7 million scheme will see specialised netting installed and loose vegetation removed around the historic rail bridge - which features prominently in the Harry Potter film series.

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The project will also include renewal of sections of boundary fencing to protect visitors who follow the tourist path up the hillside to get better views of the mountains and viaduct and to stop them from putting themselves at risk by straying onto the railway.

The attraction, located between Mallaig and Fort William, is visited by thousands of Harry Potter fans every year and was recently named as one of the top Scottish experiences in a survey of Scots' 'bucket lists'.

Diane Jones, Network Rail’s project manager for the work at Glenfinnan said, “The work on the line between Fort William and Mallaig is part a wider maintenance programme which identifies areas prone to land-slip or rock fall and proactively works to protect the railway from this.”

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“With an ever-growing number of tourists visiting the area, it is important that we deliver these works out-with the main tourist season, where possible, or in the evenings so people can continue to get to Glenfinnan by rail.”

She added: “Doing this proactively to protect the railway reduces the likelihood of having to carry-out costly emergency repairs but more importantly, it helps avoid any potential closure of this key rural route which is a lifeline connection for passenger and freight.”