The Glossop VAH Project
 Glossop VAH Project
 Glossop VAH

Dinting Viaduct

First opened in 1844 as part of the original Woodhead Line by the Sheffield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester Railway (later the MSLR and GCR), the viaduct has been modified a number of times, most notably by the addition of seven brick strengthening piers in 1918–20. The viaduct comprises three sections: starting from the south end, there is a series of seven stone arches, each 50 feet (15 m) wide. The central section consists of five openings (later divided by strengthening piers). A further four stone arches take the railway to the northerly junction with the branch to Hadfield and into Dinting station.

The modern-day Glossop branch line originally opened as the Woodhead Line in December 1845, which linked Sheffield to Manchester.

On the night of 18 September 1855, a passenger train was halted on the viaduct to a let a returning wakes week excursion train clear Dinting station just ahead. The night was "exceedingly dark", causing some of the passengers to mistakenly think they had arrived at the station platform. From one carriage, three people left the train, stepping onto the low parapet of the viaduct, and fell to their deaths; another was pulled back from the door as passengers realised they were on the viaduct. After a few minutes, the viaduct night watchman found the three of them lying side by side on the grass in the valley. Two had been instantly killed, and the third died within an hour.

The following day, an inquest was opened at the Plough Inn, Dinting, where the deceased were confirmed to be Jane Hadfield, John Healey and Thomas Priestnall. It returned a verdict of accidental death and recommended the railway company put up a fence on the parapet of the viaduct to prevent similar accidents, and to move the signal closer to Manchester so that passenger trains cannot stop on the viaduct.

The level of rail traffic and the weight of the trains had increased so much that the existing timber viaducts were considered inadequate.

Wrought-iron girders were installed to replace the timber arches.


A colourise photo of Dinting viaduct before the addition of strengthening pillars.

Again the weight of trains had increased and seven brick strengthening piers were inserted during the years 1918–20,

Again the weight of trains had increased and seven brick strengthening piers were inserted during the years 1918–20,


Railway poster from 1954 introducing the new electrified line between Manchester Piccadilly and Glossop / Hadfield.

The Woodhead line from Manchester to Sheffield via the Woodhead tunnel closed in 1981 leaving only the Manchester to Glossop/Hadfield section still in operation.