Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 142,963 pages of information and 228,875 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Victoria Viaduct

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at Penshaw

The Victoria Viaduct, originally called the 'Victoria Bridge', is a rail bridge spanning the River Wear in North East England, carrying the mothballed Leamside Line.

The bridge was commissioned by the Durham Junction Railway and designed by Thomas Elliot Harrison. It was based upon the Roman bridge at Alcántara, Spain.

Built from 1836-8, the viaduct was named after the then-new monarch, Queen Victoria and was officially opened on 28 June 1838 (the queen's coronation day), although it did not open to traffic until 1839.

The bridge formed part of the main line linking Newcastle upon Tyne and London until the line was routed through Durham in 1872.

The line was closed to passenger trains following the Beeching Axe. The bridge continued to carry freight until the closure of the freight terminal at nearby Follingsby in 1991, following which the bridge was mothballed.

The bridge underwent heavy renovation between 1989 and 1990.


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