Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Oaks Viaduct

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1877.

Part of the Midland Railway

1870 'MIDLAND RAILWAY COMPANY. THE CUDWORTH AND BARNSLEY BRANCH
This short branch, which connects the Midland system with the busy thriving town of Barnsley, will be opened for passenger traffic to-day. Hitherto travellers to Barnsley by tbe Midland line have been conveyed by omnibus over the three miles separating Cudworth station from that town ; but this somewhat tedious mode of transit will be employed no longer. The Act authorising the construction of the new branch was obtained in 1865, and the line was completed by the contractors, Messrs. Olliver and Sons, in April of last year. Local goods traffic commenced to run over the branch soon after ; but owing to a dispute as to the passenger regulations between the Midland and the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire, with whose system a junction is effected at Barnsley, tbe Government Inspector was not asked to pass the line until February last. That officer, whilst expressing high approval of the works generally, took exception to one of the girder bridges which carried the rails over the Oaks Quarry. The abutments of the bridge are built on the solid rock, but from some cause or other, the embankment gave way slightly. Means were taken for remedying the defect, and, in consequence, the opening has been delayed until the present time. From Cudworth station to the Barnsley station the length of the branch is within a hundred yards or so of three miles and a half, and the junction with the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire line is some quarter of a mile further on. Leaving the main line a short distance on the Normanton side of Cudworth, the branch describes a considerable curve, and then runs in an almost straight line to Barnsley. Before reaching the end of the first mile, tbe Aire and Calder canal is crossed by a substantial- looking bridge, and soon after the Monk-Bretton Colliery is passed on the left. The next point of interest is the Oaks viaduct, a work of great magnitude and importance. It is at least a quarter of a mile in length, and passes over the river Don and two branches of the Aire and Calder canal at a height of one hundred feet. The iron girders of the viaduct, and the nine beautifully -constructed spiral columns on which they are supported, were supplied by the eminent firm of Messrs. Butler and Pitts, of Stanningley ; and the work was carried out by Messrs. Nicholsons and Sons, of Leeds. Viewed from beneath, the viaduct impresses the spectator as a wonderful piece of engineering skill ; whilst the railway traveller will never gaze from its summit on the Oaks Colliery — the most prominent object in the valley below — without recalling the terrible catastrophe which some years ago made that district so widely known. Passing over the bridge by which the Oaks quarry is crossed, and leaving one of the many junctions with the South Yorkshire line to the left, the outskirts of Barnsley are soon reached, and then commences a series of iron girder bridges over the Pontefract road and other highways leading to and from the town. These girders are also the work of Messrs. Butler and Pitts, and, like the viaduct, appear strong enough to bear any amount of strain. The station, which, in order to distinguish it from the station of the South Yorkshire line, is called the Barnsley Court House Station, is only a temporary erection. As soon as the new building intended for the Court-house is completed the present edifice will be appropriated as a station, and, judging from its appearance, will make a very comfortable landing place. Beyond the station the line is continued until a junction is effected with the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire, about a quarter of a mile further on. At present the Midland goods traffic is conducted by this junction right through to Manchester, and probably, when proper a rrangetnenta are completed, passengers will also be conveyed to "cottonopolis" by this route. There are few gradients on the line, the greatest being on the viaduct. At the Cudworth end the gradient here is 1 in 80, and at the Barnsley end it is 1 in 68. At present only two passenger trains a day are intended to run over the new branch from Leeds, and three from Barnsley ; but no doubt this service will before long be increased.— Leeds Mercury. [1]

See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Sheffield Independent, 2 May 1870