Victoria Viaduct

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.

The Leamside Line is increasingly involved in re-opening consultations, meaning that in the future, the viaduct may be recommissioned to carry both freight and passenger services over the River Wear once again.

Coordinates: 54°53′4.88″N 01°30′9.55″W / 54.8846889°N 1.5026528°W / 54.8846889; -1.5026528


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