Network Rail has confirmed that a section of the rail line near Stonehaven, where part of a bridge wall collapsed, was inspected just three months ago.
The bridge, near to the site of a fatal train crash last August, is located at Tewel, with almost 80ft of the side wall giving way on Friday, January 15.
Line operator Network Rail has said the bridge was inspected in October prior to the line reopening following the Stonehaven rail tragedy, however, its last detailed examination occurred in March 2018.
A Network Rail spokesman said: “The bridge – which was constructed in the 1840s – was last inspected in October 2020 and received a detailed examination in March 2018.
“There was no significant deterioration in structural condition noted in these inspections.”
The last work to be carried out on the bridge occurred in 2013 when a metal handrail was installed on the parapet.
Network Rail have said repairs are progressing with the damage initially assessed as being “extensive”.
The line between Stonehaven and Montrose is to remain closed for at least the rest of this week while assessment and repair work is undertaken.
The spokesman added: “Significant work was undertaken in the river beneath the bridge in 2020 to help protect the foundations of the structure from potential water damage when the river floods.
“Structural assessments are continuing as the team on site make plans for the bridge’s repair.
“It is too early to confirm exactly what work will take place, or timescales for its completion.”
The bridge is located less than a mile from the site of the fatal derailment which caused the deaths of conductor Donald Dinnie, drive Brett McCullough and passenger Christopher Stuchbury.
Replacement bus services are operating between Stonehaven and Montrose while the line is shut.