Viaducts of Lancashire (continued). This page continues the review of Lancashire viaducts started in Photo Gallery 77, this time looking at what remains on the former Lancashire & Yorkshire Railway's line from Ramsbottom to Accrington.

Above: Lumb Viaduct is situated on the old Lancashire & Yorkshire line from Stubbins Junction (north of Ramsbottom on the preserved East Lancashire Railway) to Accrington South Junction. NCN6 uses the trackbed from Stubbins (grid reference SD 790187) to the south end of this viaduct (SD 789196), but there the trail is diverted on to local lanes. The medium term plan is to re-use the old railway all the way from Stubbins to Helmshore but, while Rossendale Council and Lancashire CC have planning permiision in place, there is no funding for the route – and especially for the maintenance of a structure like this. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)

Left: A view along the parapet of Lumb Viaduct from its south end, near where NCN6 leaves the old railway. The trackbed is to the right of the parapet, although one would hardly know given the extent of the vegetation. The line closed on 5th December 1966, with the viaduct being awarded Grade II listed status in November 1984. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Right: Lumb Viaduct viewed from the road through the village. Ahead, and out of sight in this photograph, the final span crosses the River Irwell. During the summer, this river is little more than a gentle stream, but it's a different story during the colder months – or for that matter during a miserable summer like that which the UK endured in 2012. Then the river becomes a fierce torrent which scours around the feet of the piers. Hopefully, the viaduct's listed status will help it to secure funding when the UK economy improves and government spending is not so constrained. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Above: Helmshore Viaduct is situated just over a mile north of Lumb, and by the time this structure is reached NCN6 has rejoined the trackbed. In fact, this section of NCN6 is well worth exploring for it re-uses a great deal of the old Stubbins to Accrington line; the principle diversions are around Lumb Viaduct and to the west of Haslingden, where the A56 now occupies the trackbed. Lancashire CC's excellent Helmshore Mills Textile Museum is actually built on to the viaduct, as can be seen above. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Left: The east side of Helmshore Viaduct (seen here looking north) is highly unusual, for it includes two flying buttresses which provide additional support against the stone-faced embankment on the right. The viaduct was listed in November 1984, at the same time as Lumb, when £400,000 was spent on repair work so that it could accommodate the local leg of NCN6. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Right: This photograph shows the cycle trail crossing Helmshore Viaduct, although the lush vegetation of early summer disguises the fact that trail users are actually some way above the valley floor. The structure actually comprises two viaducts linked by an intermeidate revetment. The party in the distance, comprising mainly directors of Railway Paths Ltd., is actually walking over the revetment. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)
Left: The railway path over Helmshore Viaduct affords a good view of the east flank of Musbury Heights, with this typical Lancashire chimney in the fopreground (grid reference SD 777215). Once a common sight in the north west, relatively few of these industrial structures now survive. It is surprising to see a young tree flourishing at the top of this one, although its roots must be doing no good at all for the long term security of its unnatural aerial home. 24th June 2013. (Jeff Vinter)