Viaducts of Lancashire. On 24th and 25th June 2013, the club's Webmaster visited the Bolton area for a two day board meeting of Railway Paths Ltd., which included a series of fascinating site visits to view some of the county's now railless railway viaducts. Some of them will soon be re-used in new multi use trails: some are in good condition, others much less so; but this and the next page reveal them in all their variety ...

Above: Grade II listed Burnden Viaduct, which straddles the A666 dual carriageway south of Bolton town centre, will soon be part of a new railway path linking Bolton and Bury via the Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's former line (which used to serve a similar purpose until closed completely in 1970). Unles you happen to be travelling along the A666 upstairs in the front seat of a double decker bus, the structure is a difficult one to photograph in the summer. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)

Above: Burnden Viaduct has been repaired in recent years; we understand that Sustrans was involved in the work, although Graeme Bickerdike states that the British Railways Board (Residuary) was responsible for the new decking – and, we would guess, the railing repairs. It couldn't really be much easier now to run a railway path over the top! 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Left: Between the east end of Burnden Viaduct and Lower Darcy Street, Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council has already cleared the trackbed of vegetation ready for the new trail to be installed. What appears to be a bridge arch in the distance is actually an optical illusion caused by the curving branches of trees. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The section of trackbed illustrated in the previous picture comes to an abrupt end above Lower Darcy Street, where a rail-over-road bridge was removed many years ago – but Bolton Council intends to install a replacement. Just to the left of centre on the far side of the road, one can see where locals access the continuation of the trackbed to reach the next engineering feature on the line. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: At the moment, one has to take a diversion via Lower Darcy Street and the B6209 (Radcliffe Road) to reach Darcy Lever Viaduct, which is first glimpsed over the roof tops as one descends Lower Darcy Street. The viaduct is a large one, with eight iron spans supported by stone piers carrying the old line over the valley of the River Tonge. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: The board of directors of Railway Paths Limited, together the company's bridge engineer and members of staff from Bolton Council, view Darcy Lever Viaduct from Radcliffe Road. This photograph shows only three of the eight spans, which conveys some impression of the viaduct's length, which is about 612 ft. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: This is the view looking south along the River Tonge from the bridge on Radcliffe Road. This spot became well known locally as the site of a competition to throw a potato over the viaduct – a feat which proved beyond most until some bowlers from the England cricket squad heard of the competition and gave it a try. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: This view of Darcy Lever Viaduct is taken from the footpath on its east side which connects Radcliffe Road (ahead) with Gorses Road. Even this view shows only four of the eight spans. The RPL minibus can be seen on the very right of the picture. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: This is the only photograph in this batch which shows the entire length of Darcy Lever Viaduct, and we venture to submit that it is impressive! Like nearby Burnden Viaduct, Darcy lever has received a lot of attention in recent years including the new decking seen here, which – as at Burnden – will make it very easy to put a trail over the top. No doubt more secure fencing will be installed when this happens. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)