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Cast Iron Arch, Castle Street, MSJ&A Railway
by Deansgate Station, Castlefield, Manchester, UK
Cast Iron Arch, Castle Street, MSJ&A Railway
associated engineer
William Baker
date  1848 - 1849
era  Victorian  |  category  Bridge  |  reference  SJ832975
ICE reference number  HEW 1548
photo  Paul Dunkerley / ICE R&D Fund
The skew rail bridge over Castle Street is one of nine such cast iron bridges originally in use in the Castlefield basin by rail lines. Designated as No. 94A, it was built as part of the brick viaduct serving the Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway.
Measured square, the bridge's span is 8.9m, skew it's 22.3m. It rises 2.1m above its abutments over the road. The six cast iron ribs are made in five pieces, bolted together. The ribs are braced with cruciform cast iron sections. The twin railway tracks were carried on cast iron deck plates.
The viaduct has three other cast iron arches over roads, all designed by Baker: Chester Road, Oxford Road (encased in concrete in 1959) and Albion Street (renewed in reinforced concrete beams in 1980). Baker's bridge over the Rochdale Canal and another over a pedestrian area at Deansgate Station complete the roster.
The route of the MSJ&A line ran from Manchester Piccadilly via Oxford Road and Deansgate to Salford. It was one of at least four lines laid across the Castlefield Basin in the mid to late 1800s, all of which required viaducts to get them across the inner city built-up areas.
Resident engineer: Henry Hemberow
Contractor: David Bellhouse
Cast Iron: E.T. Bellhouse
Research: PD
bibliography
PHEW records, ICE
www.altrincham-electric.org.uk
www.mace.manchester.ac.uk
Location

Cast Iron Arch, Castle Street, MSJ&A Railway