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Report - tickhill viaduct and the harworth colliery branch line

silver service

28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
hi again
you wont normally find a report from me in high stuff as heights tend to give me the colly wobbles ( yes im afraid of heights ) however i must have been feeling brave today refreshed on fags tea and ham sandwiches i parked up and walked the short distance to my target tickhill viaduct took a few piccies below and climbed the steps to explore on top.

tickhill viaduct is the first structure trains used to cross on their way to harworth and firbeck collieries built in 1928 was part of a busy branch line that left the south yorkshire joint railway at firbeck junction to
harworth colliery 1924 the colliery was connected with a 4.2 km railway line to connect with the LNER-owned east coast main line however the ecml became very congested and a connection the
south yorkshire joint railway was considered which, also linked the new firbeck colliery see my other post with a triangle junction which would lead to another triangle junction near styrrup with lines going to harworth and another going through oldcotes and langold to reach Firbeck. The forecast for Harworth was 5000 tons per day; this would have meant more congestion, so the opportunity was taken by the new owners on the SYJR ( and the LMS) to build the line to connect both collieries. This was completed in 1928.

firbeck closed in 1968 and the junctions removed and with the section between harworth colliery and the east coast main line being removed the line became a truncated branch in its own right serving harworth colliery.

this state of affairs continued untill harworth was mothballed in 2006 many plans were made to re open harworth and prep works insigated alas this came to nought and the demolition men sealed the shafts in 2016 and demolished the pit heads thus ending 86 years of mining at harworth.

today the viaduct still stands with its trackwork complete although nature has started to take the railway back and the undergrowth can be quite fierce in places preventing further exploration further towards harworth or firbeck jcn many sections of track have been stolen 0.79 miles with a weight of 70 tons although those responsible have been caught including 3 scrap metal dealers and have served lengthy jail terms it was frustrating for network rail as they had planned to make the line operational but this was in 2008 before demolition of the pit.

so whats left of the line continues in its mothballed existence the viaduct which has been reinforced with old worn out rails waiting for the return of trains who knows it could one day be a passenger line to from doncaster to harworth or a freight line depending on whats built on the old pit site and if they require a rail link but thats all speculation for the future hopefully the viaduct wont end up in the hands of the demolition men or scrap men.

picture list

1, the approach to tickhill viaduct

2, tickhill viaduct left side you can see the reinforced bracing with old worn out rails

3, the right hand side of this beautifull structure with more bracing

4, the plate fastened to the bridge network rail are still responsible for its upkeep but for how much longer ? note the blue engineering bricks used in its construction

5,more pillar renforcing seen through the trees

6,on top of the viaduct looking towards harworth the rails are still existant for now

7, looking back towards the SYJR at firbeck jcn the undergrowth gets quite fierce from here and with the collieries gone very little now uses the joint railway itself

7, further up.. the line line passes under the A60 road bridge... little bit of potted history here
to the right of this picture is a layby which is very famous as a scene of the BBC,s comedy open all hours was filmed here remember the wedding episode where ronnie barker takes his trousers off in the car to get them aired?..the nottinghamshire boundry starts around a mile further on

8, the bridge plate for the A60 road bridge

9, a cant inicator lays discarded among the rusty rails

10, looking towards harworth from the other side of the A60 road bridge nature has started to take back the railway

Last edited:


Staff member
I've moved this to 'other' sites rather than high stuff.

Quite a few people have an interest in rail related stuff so thanks for sharing in that sense, either way looks like a decent Sunday stroll :thumb

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