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Photographer's Note

I hope to post a set of photographs of a defunct railway line now known as the 'Cinder Track'. The start of the track at the Whitby end commences at this remarkable viaduct, which I photographed looming out of the mist. The viaduct was constructed for the Scarborough and Whitby Railway to carry a single track line over the River Esk and valley near Whitby, as well as crossing the Esk Valley Railway, and Whitby, Redcar and Middlesbrough Union Railway. Due to its situation close to the sea the design avoided the use of iron, using brick and cement construction. Construction began in October 1882 and was complete by October 1884.
The viaduct is a 13 arch structure, 305 yd (279 m) long, with the rail level reaching 120 ft (37 m) high. The foundations on land were excavated to the level of rock, and formed from slag based cement. The river foundations were excavated in brick lined wells. The river foundation excavations were complicated by large oak trees found embedded in the river, which required divers for removal. Three of the piers in the river are skewed so as not to deflect the tidal flow (the River Esk is tidal as far as Ruswarp upstream)

Regrettably, services on the line ( one of the most scenic in the country ) ended in March 1965 as a result of the Beeching Report.

The viaduct became grade II listed in 1972. In 2000 much of the former line and the viaduct were opened to the public. By 2006 parts of the brickwork had become unsafe due to spalling, and the parts of the outer layer were replaced. As of 2012 the viaduct is part of the 'Scarborough to Whitby Rail Trail', also promoted as the "Scarborough to Whitby Cinder Track" a cycle route.

The viaduct is mentioned in Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula:

The little river, the Esk, runs through a deep valley, which broadens out as it comes near the harbour. A great viaduct runs across, with high piers, through which the view seems somehow further away than it really is.

 Dracula, Chap.6, Mina Murray's Journal.[13][10

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Additional Photos by Maggie Lambert (LamCam) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 651 W: 73 N: 688] (3695)
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