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Victorian Viaduct

Anyone travelling north out of London from Kings Cross, on the East Coast line, will cross this awe-inspiring viaduct.

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The Welwyn Viaduct, or Digswell Viaduct, was originally opened by Queen Victoria on 6 August 1850.  Located just south of Welwyn North Station, it is around 1,560 feet (475 m) long, 100 ft (30 m) high  and comprises forty arches of 30 ft (9 m) span.

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It was designed by William Cubitt and styled after a Roman aqueduct.  It took two years to build, including the construction of embankments at both ends which required the movement of around one million tons of earth.

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It is believed that Queen Victoria was frightened of its height and refused to travel across it. The train carrying her had to stop, allowing her to leave the train whereupon she transferred to a horse drawn carriage to travel the length of the bridge on the ground. She then re-joined the train at the other end of the viaduct and continued her journey.

To this date it carries the East Coast Main Line to places such as Newcastle and Edinburgh.  This busy line narrows from four tracks to two to cross the viaduct, making it a bottleneck restraining capacity over this strategic transport route.

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Posted as pat of Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Bridges.

5 replies »

  1. I bet I have gone over it without realizing it. I have taken the train from Kings Cross to Edinburgh several times. Great post!

    Like

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