Imberhorne Viaduct is a short distance south of East Grinstead station on what was originally the Lewes & East Grinstead Railway (then the London, Brighton & South Coast Railway) line to Lewes via Horsted Keynes, opened in 1882. The viaduct is a majestic structure in red brick, 240 yards long and up to 105 feet high. The ten segmental arches are of sixty feet span and have no fewer than eight rings. The parapets have five panels above each arch and there are brick string courses below.
Following closure of the line in 1958 track remained on the viaduct and was used for stabling carriages. Much of the railway has since been re-opened by the Bluebell Railway and good progress is being made in extending the line back to East Grinstead.
The viaduct was donated by British Rail to the Bluebell Railway in 1992 after the carriage sidings had been closed. The viaduct has been under renovation since 2002, the work including waterproofing the deck, brickwork repairs and repointing. It is expected that the first trains over the viaduct will be removing material tipped in the cuttings to the south.
Other heritage railways have viaducts, particularly Avon Viaduct on the Bo'ness & Kinneil Railway and the Great Central Railway's viaduct across Swithland Reservoir. However, as befits Britain's premier preserved line, the Bluebell Railway has the largest and most impressive example.
For those with access to it there is a comprehensive article about this viaduct in the Winter 1992 edition of Bluebell News.
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This page was created 6 February 2010