Conisbrough Viaduct

(Photo 16 © Keith Butcher/Yorkshire Main Colliery website)

With 21 arches, 14 to the north side of its girder span and seven to the south, Conisbrough Viaduct formed part of a connection between the Hull & Barnsley Railway and those of the Great Northern and Great Eastern.

At 1,527 feet in length, it is truly a Goliath structure built of 15 million bricks - many sourced locally and each one put in place by contractors Henry Lovat Ltd. An aerial ropeway - called a Blondin - was deployed to carry men and materials across the valley during its construction, supported by two 80 feet masts at either end. The 160-foot lattice girder span was built using a three-piered timber scaffold and carried the tracks at a height of 116 feet above the river.

Opened on 17th March 1909, the route - which by then had been single-lined - was closed on 11th July 1966. It remained in the hands of British Rail and then BRB (Residuary) until 2001 when agreement was reached for its transfer to Railway Paths Ltd. Although the deck was unofficially used as a footpath for several years, Sustrans laid a tarmac path across it in 2010, forming a link to the Trans Pennine Trail at its north-western end.

Three years earlier a man was cleared of assisting his wife's suicide after she jumped from the structure.

Click on this icon for the story of its footpath conversion.
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Feb 12

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