Almost every time I travel from Sheffield to Birmingham, the train pauses outside New Street Station to wait for a vacant platform.
Looking to the south, it’s possible to discern two railway viaducts, one carrying trains into Moor Street Station, from where they traverse a tunnel at right angles to the New Street lines under the city centre to Snow Hill Station.
There’s another viaduct that carries only bushes and small trees.
This is the 1,100-yard-long 58-arch Duddeston Viaduct, built by the Great Western Railway as a linking curve towards the old Curzon Street station that closed when New Street opened in 1852.
The companies operating into New Street, the London & North Western and the Midland railways, blocked the Great Western access to their old and new stations, and the Great Western instead built Snow Hill station and tunnel at great expense.
Duddeston Viaduct halted at the land-boundary and, though it still exists, has never been used to carry trains since it was built.
For details of Mike Higginbottom’s Birmingham’s Heritage lecture, please click here.