Heritage Locations

Fledborough Viaduct


Very long viaduct which carried the Lancashire, Derbyshire, & East Coast Railway over the River Trent.

Constructor:
Unclassified

Period of construction:
1850 - 1899

Transport Trust plaque:
No

Transport Mode:
Rail

Address:
Near Fledborough, Notts NG23 7AP

Postcode:
NG23 7AP

Nearest Town:
Newark

Heritage Centre:
No


The Lancashire, Derbyshire and East Coast Railway opened its line from Chesterfield to Lincoln in 1897.
It arose out of a perceived need for an East-West line, the plan being to take it from Warrington on the Manchester Ship Canal to Sutton-on-Sea on the east coast of Lincolnshire. It was largely financed by a group of coal owners, led by William Arkwright, a descendant of Richard Arkwright.

Due to lack of investment, only the portion from Chesterfield to Lincoln was built, with some extremely expensive engineering works. As an example, it included a plan to cross Monsal Dale in Derbyshire with a viaduct some three hundred feet high. In Chesterfield itself, on leaving the Market Street station, a 213 m (700 ft) long viaduct carried the line over both the Midland and the MS&LR lines at Horns Bridge.

In 1907 the line was taken over by the Great Central Railway. A continuing problem had been the 1.6 km long Bolsover Tunnel, not only because of water ingress, but also mining subsidence, and in 1951 it was closed, along with the section of the line between Langwith Junction and Chesterfield. Passenger services over the rest of the line to Lincoln finished in 1955. The railway survived to serve High Marnham power station until it closed.

The crossing of the river Trent was at Fledborough where due to the low lying nature of the ground an exceptionally long viaduct was needed. It was built in 1896 by Sir Robert Elliott-Cooper. The approaches to the main bridge consisted of 39 round-headed arches on the Nottinghamshire side, and 20 on the Lincolnshire side. The total length is 814 m. (891 yds). The main span was achieved with four 33 m. (110 ft.) trussed steel girders supported by twin iron cylinder piers, but these were replaced in 1964 by a single track railway on steel plate girders.


Bibliography:

Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S.,
The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J.,
The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, Oxford, ISBN 0 19 211697 5 (1997)

Bonavia, Michael,
Historic Railway Sites in Britain, Hale, ISBN 0 7090 3156 4 (1987)

Conolly, W. Philip,
British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas And Gazetteer, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3 (1958/97)

Cupit, T. and Taylor, W. The Lancashire, Derbyshire, & East Coast Railway,  Oakwood, (1963)

Dow, G. Great Central, Vol 3, Locomotive Publishing, ISBN 0 7110 0263 0 (1965)

Jowett, Alan, Jowett's Railway Atlas of Great Britain and Ireland,  Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-8526-0086-1. (March 1989)

Morgan, Bryan, Railways: Civil Engineering, Arrow, ISBN 0 09 908180 6 (1973)

Morgan, Bryan, Railway Relics, Ian Allan, ISBN 0 7110 0092 1 (1969)

Simmons, J., The Railways of Britain, Macmillan, ISBN 0 333 40766 0 (1961-86)

Simmons, J., The Victorian Railway, Thames & Hudson, ISBN 0 500 25110X (1991)

Smith, Martin, British Railway Bridges and Viaducts, Ian Allan, ISBN 0 7110 2273 9 (1994)

Turnock, David, An Historical Geography of Railways, Ashgate, ISBN 1 85928 450 7 (1998)



Opening Times:
Visible at all times from both sides of the river Trent.

How To Find:

By road: On the Lincolnshire side off A1133 in North Clifton, the road linking North and South Clifton passes under the viaduct at a point where it is possible to scramble up the embankment onto the track-bed. This is now a Sustrans cycle way. The best view of the viaduct is from a track just south of North Clifton. On the Nottinghamshire side a cul de sac leading to Fledborough church yields a view of the whole viaduct across fields.


Facilities:


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