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Lowther Viaduct
River Lowther, 4km south of Penrith, Cumbria, UK
Lowther Viaduct
associated engineer
Joseph Locke
John Edward Errington
date  1845 - December 1846
UK era  Victorian  |  category  Railway Viaduct  |  reference  NY524270
ICE reference number  HEW 597
photo  ICE R&D Fund
An impressive six span masonry railway viaduct that crosses the River Lowther south of Penrith. It is, however, quite hard to see in its entirety, as the river valley is now heavily wooded.
The 152m viaduct was built as part of the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway, the joint engineers for which were Joseph Locke and John Errington. The line they built now forms part of the West Coast Main Line. However, the major part of the work was carried out by Errington, as Locke had other commitments.
Constructed in red sandstone from local quarries, the viaduct has semicircular arches supported by tapering piers. Each arch spans 18.3m. At their bases, the piers measure 4.1m thick and at the arch springings, 2.4m thick. The railway line is carried 30.5m above the river bed. During construction of the approach cutting and viaduct embankments, a temporary timber bridge over 30m high was built here.
Other viaducts on the line include Dockwray, and on its branches include Lowgill (now disused).
Resident engineer: S.B. Worthington
Contractor: John Stephenson, Thomas Brassey & William Mackenzie (partnership)
Research: PD
"Mackenzie, Giant of the Railways” by M.M. Chrimes, M.K. Murphy and G. Ribeill, Institution of Civil Engineers, exhibition catalogue
"Lifelines 35, Joseph Locke” by C. Walker, Shire Publications Ltd, Aylesbury, 1975
"Guide to the Lancaster and Carlisle Railway" by Steel, 1846
"Guide and Handbook to the Lancaster & Carlisle Railway" by Scott and Bensen, 1847
reference sources   CEH NorthBRH

Lowther Viaduct