Castlefield 1877 Cornbrook Viaduct
Bridgewater Canal, Castlefield Basin, Manchester, UK
date 1873 - 1877
era Victorian |
category Railway Viaduct |
The canal basin at Castlefield is crossed by four large railway viaducts dating from the mid to late 1800s. The central one in the group of three southwest of Deansgate Station is the high-level iron truss girder viaduct of 1877 built for the Cheshire Lines Committee by the Midland Railway. It's known as Cornbrook Viaduct.
The viaduct is a red brick and wrought iron truss girder construction. When it opened in 1877, it carried trains coming from a temporary station at Manchester Central on their way to Irlam and Warrington, and to Chorlton via a branch line. The temporary station was replaced by Sir John Fowler's Manchester Central Station in 1880, which operated until 1969 and is now used as an exhibiiton centre (G-MEX).
Adjacent to the Cornbrook Viaduct, on its southern side, is the 1849 red brick viaduct of the Manchester South Junction & Altrincham Railway with its cast iron arch bridge over the Bridgewater Canal. Also close by is the 1894 steel viaduct that served the Great Northern Railway’s warehouse in Deansgate.
All these viaducts stood disused for many years. When a route for the Metrolink trams was investigated, the Cornbrook Viaduct was found to be in much better condition than the 1894 one. It was chosen for refurbishment (1990-1991) and is currently used by Metrolink trams going to Altrincham.
PHEW records, ICE
"Refurbishment of Cornbrook Viaduct"
Metrolink, Topic Sheet No 6, September 1990