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An appeal for your support:

The three historic listed viaducts owned by the Trust were constructed for the South Durham & Lancashire Union Railway for its opening in 1861. After a working life of almost exactly 100 years they were abandoned by British Railways until acquired by the Trust, Smardale Gill in 1989, Podgill in 2000 and Merrygill a few years later. Smardale Gill, in particular, needed extensive restoraton in the early 1990s, the others less so. The Trust also owns a number of lesser structures along the course of the former railway.

Even without a railway running over them they are all subject to deterioration at the hands of time, wind and weather. Winters such as we have experienced in 2010 and 2011 create special problems with the freeze-thaw effects being very damaging to exposed structures. Regular maintenance of paths and vegetation to ensure walkers comfort and safety, as well as to retain the general quality of the environment for the enjoyment of walkers and wild-life, can only be achieved at further cost. (Scroll down.)

Managed by a small group of volunteer Trustees, the Trust has no general membership. Funding comes entirely from grants and donations. Having successfully carried out the initial task of saving and restoring the viaducts, funds are now needed for future maintenance of the viaducts and other structures along the former railway and the very popular footpaths over them. If you have enjoyed the results of our work - or support our general objects of preserving these important monuments to our railway and industrial heritage, we are appealing for your support to enable these structures to survive through the 21st century. For Smardale Gill we are facing a repair bill of over �100,000 in 2011/12.

Online donations can be made via the website. The trust can claim Gift Aid on donations made via

Donations may also be made by cheque - please use this form and Gift Aid your donation if possible.

Many thanks for your help.

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