Nearly half a mile long with 43 arches spanning the town of Yarm and the River Tees, this viaduct was built in 1852.
Period of construction:
1850 - 1899
Transport Trust plaque:
Yarm Station, Green Lane, Yarm, TS15 9EH
The building of Yarm viaduct in 1848 was a remarkable feat of engineering. There were no mechanical excavators or mobile cranes to call on at that time, and the building materials for this impressive structure that dominates the Yarm skyline, had to be hauled into position by teams of horses and a pulley system. Yet the structure was completed in just over 4 years.
It cost Â£44,500 and is 695 m. long and was built to extend the Leeds and Thirsk Railway from Northallerton to Stockton and Hartlepool. The viaduct has 43 arches, 41 of them with a 12 m.(40 ft.) span. The two which carry the railway over the River Tees are 20 m.(65ft) high and have spans of 20 m. It took 139,000 cubic feet of stone to build. â€¨Over seven and a half million bricks went into the building of the viaduct which was designed by Thomas Grainger and John Bourne of Edinburgh.
The official opening was in May 1852. Three years after the opening, it was to claim the first of a number of fatalities. On an exceptionally dark wet night, a train overshot the platform and an unsuspecting stranger to the area in alighting from his carriage, stepped over the parapet and fell 22 m.(74 ft.). An inquest jury recommended that "some fencing be erected". Over the years there have also been a number of suicides on the viaduct. More recently there was concern by residents living beneath the viaduct when a derailment on the line above them caused debris to fall into the street below.
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:
Biddle, Gordon and Simmons, J., The Oxford Companion to British Railway History, ISBN 0 19 211697 5 (1997)
Conolly, W. Philip, British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas And Gazetteer, Ian Allan Publishing, ISBN 0-7110-0320-3 (1958/97)
Civil Engineering Heritage. Northern England.
Hoole, K., A Regional History of the Railways of Britain North East, ISBN 0 7153 6439 1 (1974)
Smith, Martin. British Railway Bridges and Viaducts, ISBN 0 7110 2273 9 (1994)
Visible at all times.
How To Find:
In Yarm it is impossible to miss.
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