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Manchester Piccadilly Railway Bridges

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This entry refers to the various bridges and viaducts serving Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station, and is not limited to those bridges immediately adjacent to the station.

Most of the bridges were built in the station's previous incarnations, briefly as Store Street Station and then for much longer as Manchester London Road Railway Station. This was one of several terminal stations built in central Manchester and Salford in the 19th century. These were all served by elevated tracks, and the bridges and viaducts nominally connected with those are covered by the following entries:-

One of the most remarkable original structures serving London Road Station was a cast iron bridge of considerable skew, crossing Fairfield Street, built for the Manchester and Birmingham Railway. Its angle of skew was 24.5 degrees, and its span was 128 ft 9 inches, despite the fact that the square span of the street was only 48 ft.[1] 1909 photograph of this impressive bridge here[2]. In fact the cast iron bridge may still be there - with the arches encased in concrete. See last photo here[3]

By 1840, 118 arches (viaduct and bridge arches) had been built between the Fairfield Street bridge and the skew bridge over the Hyde and Gorton Road at Higher Ardwick, a distance of just 1¼ miles.[4]

The 1849 O.S. map shows that the skew bridge over Fairfield Street was only two tracks wide, but an 1870 map shows that this had been widened to accommodate four tracks[5]. The approach to the Fairfield Street bridge was made on a viaduct of numerous brick arches. After crossing Fairfield Street the number of tracks increased on the approach to the terminus, and two tracks branched westwards as the MSJ&AR, continuing to Oxford Road Station and beyond on a brick viaduct. As the tracks diverged they crossed Travis Street to land on an elevated block pierced by 15 arches, crossing Ashton Street on skew bridges to enter London Road Station.

The 1915 O.S. map shows a marked increase in the number of tracks, and hence the number or width of bridges, serving London Road Station together with a large goods station and a new terminus, Mayfield Station, built by the L&NWR to increase capacity.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  1. Manchester Times - Saturday 6 June 1840
  2. [1] Manchester Local Image Collection, Railway Bridges, L and N W Railway Co, Bridge over Fairfield Street, Manchester - south west elevation, Manchester, 1909, image m66768
  3. [2] 108 arches to Ardwick: the view from below - blog by Paul Dobraszczyk
  4. Manchester Times, 6 June 1840
  5. [3] Property map, National Railway Museum - 'Tracks through the Landscape: Land Plans, Sections and Books of Reference', blog by By Alison Kay, Jack Garside and Tania Parker