This fine viaduct is on the outskirts of Haltwhistle, the railway curving away to the south on an embankment before beginning its 13 mile climb up to Alston, 1000 feet higher. Known as Alston Arches, the viaduct was constructed in 1851 with the opening of the first section of the Haltwhistle to Aston branch railway. The railway company's intention was to carry the lead, coal and other minerals in the Alston district. Rival schemes were proposed but it was the Newcastle and Carlisle railway whose scheme obtained Parliamentary approval. Passengers were of secondary importance at first but eventually, with the decline of first leadmining and then coal, the line retained some importance as a vital link in the often severe winters in the district. When a so-called 'all-weather road' was opened in 1976 the line closed. A good source of information about the railway is the website of the South Tynedale Railway Preservation Society.