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Tadcaster Viaduct

Fine viaduct across the river Wharfe built to carry a line between York and Leeds which never materialised.
North Yorkshire
Red Wheel Site:
Transport Mode(s):
Near Heatherdene, Tadcaster, North Yorks LS24 8EZ
LS24 8EZ
Visitor Centre:

About Tadcaster Viaduct

An imposing viaduct of eleven arches spans the River Wharfe in Tadcaster, built as part of a projected direct Leeds to York railway promoted by the industrialist George Hudson through the York & North Midland Railway. The construction of the line was authorised in 1846 and was to run from Copmanthorpe to Cross Gates, joining the Church Fenton to Harrogate railway line between Tadcaster and Stutton.

The collapse of railway investment in 1849 lead to the line being abandoned after the viaduct had been constructed. The need for the line evaporated with the opening of the Micklethorpe to Church Fenton line in 1869.

Extract from Tadcaster historical information dated 1890 - "About a quarter-of-a-mile above the road bridge is a handsome viaduct of eleven arches spanning the Wharfe. This was erected whilst George Hudson was the ruling spirit in the railway world, but with the collapse of the "Railway King" the line, which was intended to connect Tadcaster with York, was abandoned. The viaduct was subsequently purchased by the North-Eastern Railway Co."

Between 1883 and 1959 the viaduct carried a siding that serviced a mill on the East side of the River Wharfe. The last time the viaduct was used to fetch and carry goods was in 1955. The structure is now a Grade II Listed Building owned by Tadcaster Town Council. A footpath traces the route of the short length of railway which ran from a junction just north of the erstwhile Tadcaster Station across the viaduct. It leaves the Wetherby Road just north west of the town.

By road: Off A64/A659


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