"Leamside .... was where the Bishop Auckland branch diverged from the 'old main line' and continued over the nine-arch Brasside viaduct before being joined at Newton Hall junction by the line from Newcastle and Gateshead via the Team Valley, with four tracks as far as Durham station."
North Eastern Branch Lines Since 1925. K. Hoole. 1978
Another of the north east's monuments to the past, this disused railway viaduct stands on a lonely stretch of the river near Brasside, and until closure in 1964 had connected Sunderland with Durham. Originally the old main line from Newcastle to York went via Pelaw, Leamside and Tursdale (near Ferryhill), omitting Durham, until a branch was built from Leamside, (formerly Auckland), Junction to Durham and Bishop Auckland, passing over the viaduct at Belmont. When the more direct line to Durham through Gateshead's Team Valley and Chester-le- Street was opened in 1872, this then became the main line to Durham and the line from the Belmont viaduct joined this new line at Newton Hall Junction, north of Durham. From that date the viaduct carried passengers and freight via the Leamside line and from the branch from Sunderland which linked to the Leamside line.
At 130 feet high and nearly 700 foot in length the viaduct soars above the river and can be reached along a footpath on the east side of the Wear which passes below it. There have been plans to reopen it as a footpath and cycleway. Sometimes called Brassside viaduct, it is Grade 2 listed.