Tame Viaduct

(All photos © Tameside Local Studies & Archives)

The 6 miles 70 chains Micklehurst Loop was the product of the LNWR's need to quadruple its Diggle-Stalybridge line which was squeezed onto an alignment on the west side of the Tame valley. The loop, built by contractors Taylor & Thompson for £178,000, took a more easterly path, opening in 1886 following a construction period of five years. Included were three tunnels and four substantial viaducts.

Of the latter collection, the longest crossed three roads, the Huddersfield Narrow Canal and the River Tame in Stalybridge. Known as Bridge No.3, the 330-yard curved structure was built from blue engineering brick and comprised 16 arches.

Closed to through trains on 30th November 1966, the section over the viaduct was retained to carry coal for a nearby power station, officially ending its operational life on 14th September 1976, although traffic had actually ceased in 1972.

1991 saw the structure demolished with the intention of using its alignment as a route for the Huddersfield Narrow Canal which was being restored. But in the event, the project received £32 million of lottery funding, allowing it to be put back on its original path through the centre of Stalybridge.

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Feb 11

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