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Above: The long missing railway bridge at Peasmarsh, Surrey, which carried the former LBSCR branch line from Christ's Hospital to Guildford, was finally replaced in 2006. The new bridge forms part of a westward extension of the Downs Link, which connects this popular long distance trail with the towpath of the River Wey Navigation. The new span features a gentle arc in order to prevent water pooling and accelerating corrosion. October 2006. (Tim Grose)

 
Above: Meldon Viaduct (west of Okehampton in Devon) has featured in these pages before, but never from this angle. It is one of only two wrought iron viaducts which survives in this country, the other being Bennerley in Nottinghamshire (see Photo Gallery 15). According to Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, it consists of 'six 90 feet long Warren Truss spans with a total length of 540 feet, 120 feet above the valley floor'. It was built for the London & South Western Railway in 1874. Incidentally, the valley floor, which – as can be seen – is now covered in vegetation, used to feature a narrow gauge tramroad built to convey granulite. A picture of this little known line appears on page 124 of Walking the Dartmoor Railroads by Eric Hemery, David & Charles, 1983, ISBN 0-7153-8348-5. March 2006. (Bob Prigg) Update: Meldon Viaduct now has its own website – click here to view it.
 
Above: The 22 mile Cape Cod Trail in Massachusetts is the result of a project run by the American Rails-to-Trails Conservancy. Since its foundation in 1986, the RTC has converted over 13,500 miles of disused railway trackbed into shared use 'rail trails', which are estimated to generate about 100 million journeys per year. One of the first rail trails in the country, the Cape Cod Trail uses a disused railway to link the towns of Dennis, Harwich, Brewster, Orleans, Eastham and Wellfleet. The trail was re-constructed between autumn 2005 and spring 2007, which is why it looks rather pristine and stark in this photograph. The cyclist is member Ivor Sutton from Somerset. July 2006. (Dean Sutton)
 
Above: We have been looking for a cheesier smile than Dean Sutton's amongst the photographs on this website, but have yet to find one! The Cape Cod Trail was built on a line originally constructed by the Old Colony Railroad Company. The trail traverses pines and oaks, and occasionally skirts a pond or marsh. The website for the local Ocean Park Inn continues: 'You'll ride through woodlands, past sparkling lakes, mysterious kettle ponds and expansive salt marshes. Just off the path, side trips offer ocean beaches, fishing piers, country stores, quaint villages, parks, picnic areas, and restaurants.' July 2006. (Ivor Sutton)
 
Above: And here is one of the afore-mentioned ocean beaches. Although Ivor Sutton's pose makes it look as if he is leaning on a concrete surfboard, in reality this is a post from a broken fence. The beach certainly looks inviting, and it is tempting to wonder how much business the railway would generate if it was still running. The line closed because of the high cost of repairing a major bridge. Does this story ring any bells with readers in the UK? Would the same rules apply to a road bridge that required major repairs? July 2006. (Dean Sutton)
 
Above: And now for something completely different! This is Redgategill Viaduct on the former Stainmore line from Barnard Castle to Tebay. Also known as Aitygill Viaduct, this structure is 324ft long and 94ft high, and stone built with 9 arches. Amazingly, it is privately owned. This and the next two photographs are reproduced by kind permission of www.visitcumbria.com. (Simon Ledingham)
 
Above: Merrygill Viaduct on the former Stainmore line is now accessible to the public, as suggested by the finished surface which can be seen here between the parapets. Merrygill is 366ft long and 78ft high, and – like Redgategill – is stone-built with 9 arches. Since early 2005, this structure has been owned by the Northern Viaduct Trust. Photograph reproduced by kind permission of www.visitcumbria.com. (Simon Ledingham)
  
Above: Podgill Viaduct concludes our trio of engineering marvels from the Stainmore route. This structure is 466ft long and 84ft high, but, while stone built like the others, it is somewhat larger with 11 arches. Podgill has been completely renovated in recent years by the Northern Viaduct Trust and now forms part of an official walkway. Photograph reproduced by kind permission of www.visitcumbria.com. Incidentally, if you follow this link, click on 'Trails' and then scroll down to the section entitled 'Walks on restored railway lines' – there are some good photographs here from other disused Cumbrian railways that can now be walked and cycled. (Simon Ledingham)