July 2022 – Castlefield Viaduct, Manchester.

Technically this qualifies as a (tiny) piece of reopened disused railway. Lovers of plants, flowers and modern ‘art’ may be happy, but the preview video put out by the Manchester Evening News didn’t show much of a nod to the viaduct’s heritage, while the Daily Mail’s hyperbolic ‘stunning new look’ considerably over-eggs things. One also wonders how it cost £1.8 million to create this 350-yard National Trust outpost. However, the structure is open – albeit on a 12-month trial and through a booking system which limits visitor numbers to just 100 a day (do they enter one at a time?!) – and it might just be possible to do some train spotting on the open and parallel viaduct through the lattice work! It would be interesting to hear from any members who do pay the site a visit. (RR)