The Stockport Viaduct is a Grade II* listed structure designed by George Watson Buck. 33.85 metres (111.1 ft) high, Stockport's railway viaduct is one of western Europe's biggest brick structures and represents a major feat of Victorian engineering. Completed in 1840, it was the largest in the world at the time of its construction and a key pioneering structure of the early railway age.
The 27 arch viaduct took 21 months to build and cost £70,000; 11,000,000 bricks were used in its construction. It was officially opened on June 4th 1840. At the peak of the work, 600 workers were employed in shifts - working day and night - to complete the structure. It was entirely built of layer upon layer of common brick. It opened in 1842 with services running to Crewe, allowing passengers from Stockport to reach London.
The first section of the Manchester & Birmingham Railway to be completed ran from a temporary station in Manchester, at Travis Street, to a temporary station at Heaton Norris, on the Lancashire side of the Stockport viaduct. Opened for traffic on 4 June 1840, this short line was an immediate success, carrying nearly 2,000 passengers a day during the second half of 1840. Two years later, on 10 May 1842, train services were extended from Heaton Norris to Sandbach and the permanent Manchester station in Store Street was opened.
The viaduct underwent a programme of restoration in 1989, costing £3 million. The process included adding floodlights to the structure. In 2007 Stockport council complained about plans by the train operator Arriva Cross Country to reduce by 50% the number of Manchester to Birmingham trains stopping at Stockport. Councillor David White claimed that the 1840 enabling Act of Parliament guaranteed that all trains passing over the viaduct had to
By Road: Impossible to miss, it dominates Stockport.
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