Bennerley Viaduct – Nature Fights Back

This week I made my 1st trip to Bennery Viaduct near Ikeston in England. Bennerley Viaduct is a grade 2* listed railway viaduct built in 1877 by the Great Northern Railway Company. The viaduct was in operation for 90 years until 1968 when the national railways were restructed.

A passenger train Eastbound on Bennerley Viaduct

From a distance the viaduct looks much the same as it did when the trains stopped crossing in 1968.

Not surprisingly, a closer inspection shows the rails are long gone and the ironwork is in a poor state. On the horizon you can see Cotmanhay.

The viaduct crosses the flood plain for the River Erewash. Running in parallel to the river are two canals and an operational mainline railway.

These pillars which hold up the main platform were clearly designed to last.

The shelter given by the viaduct is now a host to nature which is gradually fighting back and reclaiming the area. Throughout the length of the viaduct there are trees which have established themselves and looking really happy. Unfortunately, the tree on the right has been vandalised with a fire.

There are a number of small ponds at the base of the viaduct. These and the river Erewash support much of the rich wildlife in the area.

Bennerley Viaduct Restoration

For fans of the viaduct The Friends of Bennerley Viaduct are currently restoring the structure so that the public can walk across as a part of the pathway network in the area. However, I can’t help thinking that in the long term nature will win out.