Villagers and tourists in Box will be able to see Box Tunnel's famous Western Portal returned to its former glory, following a clean up operation by Network Rail engineers.

The extensive clean operation was organised to tie in with engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel's 204th birthday on April 9 and the upcoming 175th anniversary of Great Western Raiilway.

The work involved removing overgrown plants from the railway embankment, which was blocking the view of the decorated facade from the public viewing platform on the A4 at London Road.

The invasive plants have been carefully removed to make room for non-invasive plants to flourish and new trees to be planted without blocking the newly restored view of the Grade III listed structure.

The viewing platform is the only vantage point of the western portal that is most accessible to the public and it is a popular destination for Brunel enthusiasts. Jack Hitchcock, western maintenance director for Network Rail said: "Box Tunnel is one of Brunel’s masterpieces on Great Western and despite its age, still plays an important part in today’s modern railway. "While moving ahead with the 21st century, we also respect our heritage and today’s effort will help make this piece of history on Great Western accessible.” Network Rail’s initiative has been backed by the Railway Heritage Trust, Box and Colerne parish councils and North Wiltshire Council.