Okay I know that technically speaking theses structures are viaducts and not arches but I am allowed a little bit of poetic/photographic licence.
This is Castlefields in Manchester, where canal met rail and came the worst off to some extent. Rail in its turn coming a cropper against the onslaught of the car. That said canals and railways are having a renaissance, thanks to the increase in services this stretch of railway into Manchester, Castlefields Junction, is a daily ( hourly ?) cause of delays on the routes in and out of the city from all points on the north west England railway map.
In their turn the canals are coming back to life but at a more genteel pace, leisure cruising and houseboats are being seen as a viable option by some who fancy city centre living, mixed with a life on sedater waves without the sky high costs of a shoebox sized apartment in a converted mill or a new build that has the look of something put together from the left overs of a bankruptcy sale at a plumbing suppliers.
Its here that the Bridgewater Canal, met the Rochdale Canal meaning goods could be transported from the Lancashire coalfields across and through the Pennines into Yorkshire. The iron viaducts fed the railways into Manchester Central station, one for passenger traffic, one for goods into the adjacent goods station alongside Deansgate. Manchester Central closed, languished as a carpark for some years but was then reborn as an exhibition area. The goods station similarly fell and rose again as the Great Northern development and still wears its railway credentials on the outside in the form of the names of the companies who used it.
The name Castlefields by the way is taken from the nearby Roman Fort, a partial reconstruction of it stands in the shadow of the viaducts. Also nearby is Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum which also houses the railway station that formed the Manchester end of Stephenson’s Liverpool to Manchester Railway.
It’s an area that rewards a couple of hours walkabout, with new bumping up against old and even older.
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