West Yorkshire’s iconic Thornton Viaduct has reopened for the first time in nearly half a century, but for walkers and cyclists rather than trains.Children from Thornton Primary School, which occupies the site of the village’s former station, were excused lessons to join the official celebrations whilst local historian Alan Whitaker, son of Thornton’s last station master, addressed the gathered crowd.
|Alan Whitaker, son of Thornton's last station master, addresses
the crowd before the viaduct's official opening.
|On 8th November 1963, the 1025 pick-up goods heads north across the viaduct.
Photo © Robert Anderson
Sustainable transport charity Sustrans is developing the trail in partnership with Bradford Council and the Great Northern Railway Trail Forum, a consortium of supporting local organisations.David Hall, Sustrans' Yorkshire Regional Director, said “The local landscape at Thornton is quite outstanding. Many people had no idea of the dramatic views across the valley which are now accessible to people as they stroll or ride along the railway trail.”
|Children from Thornton Primary School are first to enjoy the new route.|
The new half-mile section of the trail took four months to construct and the entire six-mile project is expected to be complete by 2011. Thornton is one of two Grade II listed viaducts on the route, three miles of which are now open.
Story added 21st November 2008