Autumn 2017

It's easy to take for granted the awesome endeavours of 19th Century railway pioneers which thread us through, around or over the nation's natural barriers. It was an age of speculative adventure, built on innovation, will power and elbow grease.

But many magnificent creations were abandoned during the industrial vandalism of the Fifties and Sixties. Forgotten Relics of an Enterprising Age celebrates some of them.
Operating Notices

Welcome to the Autumn update of Forgotten Relics.

There is a tendency to overlook narrow gauge railways in favour of their big brothers, but they often have fascinating social, industrial and engineering stories to tell. One such is the Lynton & Barnstaple Railway in North Devon which boasts the largest structure on any of the UK’s narrow gauge lines. That’s the eight-span Chelfham Viaduct, built mostly in yellow Marland brick.

In the 1830s, a line was driven over the hills of County Durham to reap the rewards of their considerable mineral wealth. It featured a succession of rope-worked inclines. Forming part of the steep final decent to Stanhope Lime Kilns was Crawleyside (aka Hog Hill) Tunnel, a rough-and-ready little structure which supports the B6278. The listed portal at its southern end records its completion in 1833; that's truly worthy of the word 'historic'.

Ground moves, but mostly imperceptibly. Not so though to the north of Denholme in West Yorkshire as the Great Northern’s extension line was being pushed forward between Thornton and Keighley. Two landslips drove an unusual intervention by engineer Henry Fraser, the construction of two brick box sections - known as the Doe Park inverted arches - to hold back the cutting slopes. We can assume they didn’t go through the first four GRIP stages.

K-Burn has been on his travels again, this time hacking through the undergrowth to steal a glimpse of Kenly Viaduct on the erstwhile Anstruther & St Andrews Railway. This neat five-archer carried northbound trains on their final approach to Boarhills Station, curving tightly as they did so through almost 90 degrees. Today it’s blighted by ivy.

Rather worse is the social blight of risk aversion. So, in a departure from our usual fayre, we have a good rant about it. Why is the nation that gifted railways to the world now content to condemn parts of its outstanding heritage to perpetual decline despite its potential to fulfil a useful future role? How have we arrived at a point where corporate fear can stifle progress and prevent good things from happening? Is this really the best we can do now?

New this time
Chelfham Viaduct
Crawleyside Tunnel
as well as...
The country that gifted railways to the world is
now determined to hide away our remarkable
heritage or, worse, ensure it self-destructs.
Doe Park Inverted Arches
Kenly Viaduct
You can reach pages about these relics by clicking on their name. Across the site, new content is identified by a symbol whilst updated pages have a .
Main site areas
The site has stories about some of our more notable railway relics, with a hike through their history and reminiscences from those who worked there. You'll also find galleries showing dozens of bridges, viaducts, tunnels, earthworks, stations and junctions.
Online coverage of our disused network.
Bridges & viaducts
Great structures spanning a gap.
Tunnels & earthworks
Holes blasted
through hills.
Stations & junctions
Destinations torn from the timetable.

All the site areas are available via links in the tab bar and right hand column.

We add more structures on a seaonal basis. We hope you enjoy your visit and come back to see more Forgotten Relics soon.

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