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About us

The origin of Carlisle Waverley Viaduct Trust is that of a campaigning organisation dedicated to the restoration of the Waverley Viaduct and its re-opening as a public bridleway. The Trust was incorporated as a company on 2 July 2015 (Company no. 09668596) and registered as a charity with the Charity Commission (no. 1168423) on 25 July 2016.

Here is a link to our website:

Here is a link to our facebook page:

Our eventual aim is to link the suburb of Etterby on the north bank with a foot and cycleway across the viaduct and on to the Engine Lonning path leading to the west of Carlisle. There will also be a link for commuters, walkers and disabled to the Cumberland Infirmary along the old Waverley line. Because of the 2015 floods a possible new route for Hadrian’s cycleway, which passes through Engine Lonning is for it to follow the old Waverley line to Port Road.

STOP PRESS FEBRUARY 2018: Revision of our planning application. Please read our latest PRESS RELEASE ON OUR WEBSITE. HERE IS THE LINK:


1. For 40 years the viaduct was open to the public and used extensively by the communities on both sides of the River Eden: local residents, walkers, fishermen, dog walkers and joggers. The viaduct is a substantial and majestic structure but ‘temporary’ barriers are in place rendering it an unused assetto the city of Carlisle. Properly utilised, it can open up recreational walking routes and further serve as a traffic free transport link between two sides of a city divided by the river.

2. The viaduct is a Grade 2 listed structure and £303,000 pounds was spent on it in 2014, bringing it back to its standard when closed to railway traffic.

3. Highways England, which owns the viaduct, undertook these repairs. They wish to see the viaduct brought back into use as a traffic free crossing of the river. They will retain ownership and continue to maintain the structure.

4. They have agreed that if CWVT carry out the necessary work to waterproof the deck and construct a safe route across the viaduct, with suitable surface and parapets, then they will grant us a lease at a peppercorn rent for 25 years.

5. The outcome of a public petition in 2010 which over 2000 people signed and newspaper polls have demonstrated that the public are overwhelmingly in favour of the re-opening of the viaduct for public access. Well over 90% of those polled voted in favour. In response to a recent planning application a mere 3.5% objected.

6. The only known supporters of continued closure is a handful of the residents of the hamlet of Stainton and a resident of Etterby with ambivalent views. Whilst recognising that they have genuine concerns about anti-social behaviour, the Trust is convinced that their fears are misguided and based upon instances of historical difficulties.

7. The call for re-opening within the wider community is overwhelming but the continued presence of the barriers and need to activate communication between city and county councils and all interested parties has adversely delayed positive progress but such progress is now being made.

How will we achieve our aim?

• We hope to reach an amicable agreement with the owners concerned for access and egress at the northern end of the viaduct or, if agreement is not forthcoming, will request the local authority to impose a Public Path Creation Order, such orders being appropriate to create a public bridleway.

• Building on the support of several city and county councillors and funds pledged so as to provide a specification acceptable to Highways England to install waterproof decking with associated draining system, parapets and fencing.

• Enlisting the input of our councils and the community to apply for the necessary funding.

• Obtaining all necessary permissions from planning and heritage perspectives.

• Negotiating the terms of a lease from Highways England, enter into a lease, comply with necessary health and safety and regulatory requirements and obtain insurance.

• Seek tenders and commission the works.

• Reopen the viaduct as soon as practical.

• We ask for the continuing support and commitment from our city and county council members and engagement from their officers to achieve our goal and produce an immense benefit for the City of Carlisle.

Financing the project

The estimated cost of completing the first phase of the revised project is £325,000. We hope to raise most of this money through the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Railway Heritage Trust have pledged up to 40% of the total cost with a limit of £100,000 as long as we have contractors agreed by April 2019.

We have had financial support from Cumbria County and City councillors for the initial feasibility study and costs associated with the planning permission. However we need on-going funds for items such as flood, ecology and engineering reports to ensure that our planning application is passed and that necessary funds are available for any monies that may be required to overcome the access problem.

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Support the right to campaign for community access!

Saving history brick by brick The viaduct is a listed structure and a National Trail (Hadrian’s Wall path) passes under its Southernmost brick ‘skewed’ arch, built on a banked curve. It is a fine example of Victorian engineering. Originally the campaign’s object was just ...

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