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STOCKPORT RAILWAY VIADUCT

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Stockport railway viaduct is the largest brick built structure in Western Europe, standing 33.85 metres high and said to contain some eleven million bricks. It was designed by G W Buck to carry the Manchester and Birmingham Railway across the centre of the town in the valley of the River Mersey. Opened in 1842 with services running to Crewe, enabling travellers from Stockport to reach London, it consists of 22 semi-circular red brick arches of 19.2 metre span springing from bold sandstone imposts. At each end the curved abutments have three narrower 5.5 metre arches, and three piers at the Manchester end have rusticated stone facings. The viaduct was widened to in similar form in 1889 to accommodate four tracks. In 1989 it was floodlit and cleaned in a £3 million restoration project. One of the many admirers of the viaduct was the Salford born artist L S Lowry who depicted it in a number of his works.

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