NY6758 : Lambley Viaduct

taken 5 years ago, near to Lambley, Northumberland, Great Britain

This is 1 of 16 images, with title Lambley Viaduct in this square
Lambley Viaduct
Lambley Viaduct
Viaduct carried the single track line of the Alston Branch Railway across the valley of the River South Tyne between Coanwood and Lambley Stations.

There is a tale from the railway era of a local man who habitually used the viaduct as a footpath across the valley but one day mis-calculated the time and was confronted with an on-coming train. As the viaduct is 11ft wide, and carried only a single track, he had to climb onto the parapet until it passed. It must have felt quite an exposed place some 100ft above the river. The little metal railing now attached to the top of the parapet does little for my vertigo even standing on the trackbed!
Lambley Viaduct

Lambley Viaduct on the Alston Branch Railway crosses the River South Tyne between Alston and Haltwhistle in a series of tall and elegant arches and was the engineering centrepiece of the Newcastle & Carlisle Railway's branch line to Alston. The viaduct opened in November 1852, a few months after the rest of the line, and was closed in 1976 when the viaduct fell into decay with some of its stonework falling into the river. The structure was Grade II* listed in August 1985. A survey was carried out in 1994; it was restored over the following two years and much of the masonry replaced, repointed with lime mortar imported from France.

The 260m long viaduct is thought to have been designed by Sir George Barclay Bruce (1821-1908), an eminent Victorian engineer. The river is crossed by nine 17-metre (56 ft) wide arches, with three 20-foot arches to the north side and four on a curve at the southern end, supporting a deck 32 metres (105 ft) above the river but, as it carried a single track, only 3.5 metres (11 ft) wide.

The piers to the arches are built of massive rough-faced stones each weighing up to 500 kilograms (1,100 lb), with similar-sized stones in ashlar to the main arch voussoirs. The spandrels and piers to the 6-metre (20 ft) wide approach arches are built of coursed rubble masonry.

At one time, a pedestrian footbridge crossed the water, supported by the viaduct's piers.

Today Lambley Viaduct accommodates the South Tyne Trail although the west end has been fenced off to stop people straying into the former Lambley Railway Station which is now a private house. Access to that end of the viaduct is by a series of steps leading down from the north side.

The South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society have acquired both the Lambley Viaduct and Alston Arches and have an ambitious aim to reopen the entire line from Alston to Haltwhistle by 2022 LinkExternal link

Wikipedia: LinkExternal link
Bridges on the Tyne: LinkExternal link
The Transport Trust: LinkExternal link

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NY6758, 139 images   (more nearby search)
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Date Taken
Friday, 13 February, 2015   (more nearby)
Sunday, 15 February, 2015
Geographical Context
Uplands  Paths  Rivers, Streams, Drainage  Railways  Derelict, Disused 
Primary Subject of Photo
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NY 6749 5836 [10m precision]
WGS84: 54:55.1323N 2:30.5227W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! NY 6744 5828
View Direction
North-northeast (about 22 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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