Thorpe Thewles Viaduct Demolition 1979

Four photos of the demolition of the viaduct. They are taken from the public viewing area and give an impression of what an event it was.

Photos and details courtesy of Sue Wright.

Update: And in response to a comment about never having seen a photograph of trains on the viaduct we’re very grateful to Garth McLean for sending us these two photos from 1966.

10 thoughts on “Thorpe Thewles Viaduct Demolition 1979

  1. ABSOLUTELY APPALLING!!! One night Ca. 1962, when mum was seriously ill in hospital with “Big C”, my dad (then a BR Loads Inspector) got a pass for me to accompany him on a special overnight train of steel beams from Thornaby. At Bowesfield Junction, the train was signalled “E” (for Eden Valley?) via ‘The Cuckoo’ and I recall passing over this iconic viaduct around midnight. By Ferryhill, the train engine – a J39 – had failed – and guess what? our rescue engine was none other than A4 pacific 60001 (Sir) “Ronnie Matthews” I kid you not. She hauled us at 25mph maximum to several miles beyond Newcastle, where a while later she dropped us off outside Newcastle Central station.

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  2. I was there on the day, think I was with Paul Stead……just before they detonated the charges they set a air horn off to alert everyone, when they did so a deer went bolting down the incline….probably saved its life.

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  3. I remember the Thorpe Thewles railway arches, Victorian engineering and enterprise at its very best and the demolition still much lamented by local historians and rail enthusiasts alike.
    However the maintenance costs associated with keeping the structure operable would have been prohibitive and paramount in the decision to demolish, hence the demise.

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  4. I remember the Thorpe Thewles railway arches, Victorian engineering and enterprise at it very best and the demolition still much lamented by local historians and rail enthusiasts alike.
    However the maintenance costs associated with keeping the structure operable would have been prohibitive and paramount in the decision to demolish, hence the demise.

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  5. One of the worst examples of destruction of our railway and engineering heritage…so short sighted. I’ve never seen photographs of trains on the viaduct

    Liked by 1 person

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