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Off the rails

Letters

Your article Branching into Freight (NCE 25 May) is wrong on several counts.

The Victoria viaduct was completed in 1838 as part of the Durham Junction Railway and it came to form part of the main line between London and Gateshead in 1844. Since that time it has formed a diversionary route for the East Coast Main Line and I travelled over it some 15 years ago; so it is not 36 years since 'it saw a real train'.

The viaduct was not designed by John Gibb; he was the contractor. It was designed by James Walker and modified by Thomas Elliot Harrison. The prime purpose of the original railway was to carry coal traffic.

The viaduct's four principle spans are 31, 49, 44 and 31 metres respectively, and its total length is some 240m.

R W Rennison, 25 Graham Park Road, Newcastle upon Tyne NE3 4GB

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