Partially resolved WWW No
. 177 – Bridge 82 - Negative Number: PWBS 59 52 12
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Temporary bridge and old one behind partially dismantled.
The photograph shows Bridge No. 82 undergoing demolition work. This road over railway bridge comprised three brick and stone arches, the two outer arches each cross a single track whilst the centre arch crosses two lines. Work is in progress on the bridge arches and in due course explosives were used to demolish the bridge. A temporary steel bridge has been erected alongside.
Whilst, the photographer’s notes include comprehensive information regarding film type, exposure, development date etc. and the date of the photograph, the only detail given regarding location is ‘Bridge 82’. Similar photographs were also taken at the time of Bridge 80, the station buildings at Cowton and at Croft Spa. Initial consideration suggested this photograph was taken on the former North Eastern Railway between Northallerton and Darlington, however, the presence of the four tracks suggests otherwise. Checking to date indicates that Cowton and Croft Spa stations only had two platforms. Can members advise more precisely the location?
We are familiar with the need to rebuild bridges to facilitate overhead electrification; the demolition of this bridge was undertaken in the same year as the completion of the doubling of the East Coast Main Line (ECML) tracks between Greenwood and Potters Bar as part of a programme to upgrade the ECML. Peter Semmen’s article – The Modernisation Scheme and the East Coast Routes, SLS Journal, June 1959, pp.186-189, refers to the rebuilding of over bridges in the North Eastern Region in order to permit installation of overhead wires when electrification is carried out. It was to be many decades before the line from London was energised, to Newcastle in 1990 and finally through to Edinburgh in 1991.
The picture is dated 20 December 1959 and is one of several views taken on that day by Peter Semmens.
At the date of the photograph, Cowton station had closed for passengers the previous year on 15 September with goods and therefore entire closure occurring on 1 June 1964. Croft station was renamed Croft Spa on 1 October 1896 and was closed on 3 May 1969. The station buildings at Cowton remain and are Grade 2 listed/
Thanks to John New and R. Wood for information supplied.
Further to Page 136, May/June 2015 Journal and Answer, page 179, July/August 2015 Journal, Negative No. 73257, (Update 22 October 2015.)
Further to the advice given at the above reference, arising from further research the following information is now known. The photograph is shows Yarm, Catterick bridge across the East Coast main line between Cowton and Eyholme Junction. The central arch was built for the York - Darlington railway approximately 175 years ago whilst the two outer single arches were added in the 1900s. The bridge was demolished by controlled explosives at end of December 1959. The bridge currrently carries road number B1263.
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