Lumb Viaduct

Lumb Viaduct

On 18th September 1848, the East Lancashire Railway opened a branch from its Manchester-Rawtenstall line at Stubbins Junction, just north of Ramsbottom, heading over the hills to Accrington. Only a single 146-yard tunnel was needed at Haslingden, but the route did demand a number of viaducts.

One such was about a mile north of Stubbins, alongside the small community of Lumb. Engineered by J S Perring and Sturges Meek – the latter being a pupil of George Stephenson, it comprises nine segmental arches, each 40 feet in span and boasting red brick soffits. These enabled the railway to reach a height of 60 feet over the River Irwell which is crossed by the second span from the south. A minor road passes beneath the second span from the north. The arches are supported by rock-faced sandstone piers, the same material being used for the spandrels and parapets. Dressed stone benefits the copings and voussoirs.

Following closure on 5th December 1966, part of the double-track route became the adopted home of the East Lancashire Railway Preservation Society until it relocated to Bury in 1972.

Lumb Viaduct was Grade II listed in November 1984 and it has recently featured in a local footpath scheme which could see a cantilevered viewing shelter being built across its deck – a proposal from De Matos Ryan & VIsta Projects. This has not yet come to fruition.

(Robert Wade’s photo is taken from Geograph and is used under this Creative Commons licence.)

February 2013