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Report - Castlefied Viaduct, Manchester 01/12

Discussion in 'High Stuff' started by bignickb, Jan 16, 2013.

  1. bignickb

    bignickb 28DL Regular User
    Regular User

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    Opened by the Central Lines committee, it was built in 1894 to supply train routes to Manchester's Central station and the Great Northern goods warehouse! Hence it's full name The Great Northern viaduct! It had three lines laid and is actually the youngest of the four viaducts that cross Castlefield.
    One was refurbished to accommodate the new trams and the lowest brick one still has a trains passing over it.
    The link to the warehouse was operational until 1963 and then the Central Station was closed in 1969 and went on to become the GMEX. The Northern goods warehouse became a leisure and office facilities.
    Just off Deansgate you can still see where a bridge once existed next to a remaining one.
    An iconic representation of the one time greatest industrial city in the world - it is a listed structure that apparently gets more screen time than most actors!
    Richard Johnson designed it when he was chief engineer for GNR, unlike the others it is tubular steel in design which kind of makes it the ugliest!
    It has eight spans and totals 330m in length with an overall trapezoid shape when viewed from above.
    Ugly or not - it is being cared for and plans for a refurbishment are planned for 2013.
    Still on the ugly theme - four of us got up there in the dark and walked along the full length! There are drain holes dotted along the span and falling down one certainly made me regular again! It was only a drop of twelve or so inches onto a grid but Enough! Water is the biggest problem as it has welled up in spots below and caused a lot of corrosion.
    It was below freezing but great to finally see this steel antique marvel in all it's glory.

    One end!
    [​IMG]

    A view from below taken many years ago by me!
    [​IMG]

    Muddy Trail!
    [​IMG]

    Tram Viaduct!
    [​IMG]

    Far end view!
    [​IMG]

    Another tram!
    [​IMG]

    The city!
    [​IMG]

    Beethan Tower!
    [​IMG]

    Far end! Damn these trams! We had to duck and kill all torches when they passed!
    [​IMG]
     

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