Heritage Locations

Stockport Viaduct


This great structure dominates the town and has become a well known landmark. Built in 1840, it is listed Grade II*.

Constructor:
Unclassified

Period of construction:
1800 - 1849

Transport Trust plaque:
No

Transport Mode:
Rail

Address:
SK3 9HZ

Postcode:
SK3 9HZ

Nearest Town:
Stockport

Heritage Centre:
No


The Stockport Viaduct is a Grade II* listed structure designed by George Watson Buck. 33.85 metres (111.1 ft) high, Stockport's railway viaduct is one of western Europe's biggest brick structures and represents a major feat of Victorian engineering. Completed in 1840, it was the largest in the world at the time of its construction and a key pioneering structure of the early railway age.


The 27 arch viaduct took 21 months to build and cost £70,000; 11,000,000 bricks were used in its construction. It was officially opened on June 4th 1840. At the peak of the work, 600 workers were employed in shifts - working day and night - to complete the structure. It was entirely built of layer upon layer of common brick. It opened in 1842 with services running to Crewe, allowing passengers from Stockport to reach London.

The first section of the Manchester & Birmingham Railway to be completed ran from a temporary station in Manchester, at Travis Street, to a temporary station at Heaton Norris, on the Lancashire side of the Stockport viaduct. Opened for traffic on 4 June 1840, this short line was an immediate success, carrying nearly 2,000 passengers a day during the second half of 1840. Two years later, on 10 May 1842, train services were extended from Heaton Norris to Sandbach and the permanent Manchester station in Store Street was opened.

The viaduct underwent a programme of restoration in 1989, costing £3 million. The process included adding floodlights to the structure. In 2007 Stockport council complained about plans by the train operator Arriva Cross Country to reduce by 50% the number of Manchester to Birmingham trains stopping at Stockport. Councillor David White claimed that the 1840 enabling Act of Parliament guaranteed that all trains passing over the viaduct had to


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)

Holt, Geoffrey. A Regional History of the Railways of Britain, North West. ISBN 0 7153 7521 0 (1978)

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 and illuminated at night.

How To Find:
By Road: Impossible to miss, it dominates Stockport.


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