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The Black Bridge

High above the River Wansbeck soars this imposing black bridge, the North Seaton Railway Viaduct, better known as—erm—The Black Bridge.

Work began on its construction in 1925, replacing a wooden bridge built for the Blyth and Tyne Railway in 1859. Until Dr Beeching’s axe fell sixty years ago, trains carrying passengers regularly crossed the viaduct. Freight trains have continued to use the viaduct ever since, albeit in ever-dwindling numbers since the closure of the nearby collieries, with only five freight trains per day in recent times.

Later this year, with the re-opening of the Northumberland line, passenger trains will once again trundle across the bridge, one every half hour in each direction. I’m sure I’ll be along for the ride at some point.

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