|Ramsgate Viaduct was built by the Southern Railway as part of
its rationalisation of the railways in Thanet, completed in 1926. The South
Eastern Railway and the London, Chatham & Dover Railway had each had their
own station in Margate and Ramsgate, and quite separate lines between the two
towns. There was no connection between the two, so if a wagon was to be moved
between the almost adjacent stations at Margate, it would have to be taken via
Faversham and Dover! Following the two railways coming under joint management
in 1899 plans were prepared to divert SER trains to the LCDR station at Margate
by means of a new spur. However, little was done and the line was not completed
until 1917. However, it was only used for freight traffic and the SER station
remained in use.
The Southern Railway's plan was much more ambitious. A new line was built from west of the SER's Ramsgate station to a point on the LCDR line south of Broadstairs. Both of the old stations at Ramsgate and most of the SER line between Margate and Ramsgate closed. Ramsgate Viaduct is by far the most important structure on the new line. It is located immediately east of the new Ramsgate station.
The viaduct is constructed of dark red engineering brick and has four large segmental arches, with concrete imposts. The piers are slightly wider than the arches, and pilasters are built off them up with refuges corbelled out at track level. The parapets have seven panels above each arch and there are triangular panels in the spandrels. There is a string course in blue engineering brick following the curve of the arch rings and the spandrel panels are framed by blue bricks.
A few brick viaducts were built later, notably on the Cockfosters extension of the Piccadilly Line, but nothing so massive or with such fine detailing. Ramsgate Viaduct can be considered to have brought to a close a century of brick railway viaducts, starting from Sankey Viaduct on the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. The other structures on the new line were all of steel or concrete.
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This page was created 25 January 2010