Craigmore Viaduct

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Craigmore Viaduct
County Armagh
The Craigmore Viaduct - - 1058107.jpg
The Craigmore Viaduct
Type: Railway viaduct
Carrying: Dublin–Belfast railway line
Crossing: Camlough River
Grid reference: J06662835
Location: 54°11’35"N, 6°21’59"W
Type: Railway viaduct
Design: Stone arches
Built 1849-1852

The Craigmore Viaduct is a railway bridge near Bessbrook, County Armagh, known locally as the 18 Arches. It carries the Belfast-Dublin railway line across the valley of Camlough River just north of Newry.


The bridge was designed by John Benjamin Macneill, an eminent civil engineer, with construction beginning in 1849 for the Dublin and Belfast Junction Railway. The bridge was formally opened in 1852.

The viaduct consists of 18 arches, each of 60 feet in span, the highest being 126 feet, making Craigmore the tallest viaduct in Ulster and indeed on the whole island of Ireland. It is around a quarter of a mile long and was constructed from granite stone blocks from the nearby Goraghwood quarry near Goraghwood station, which for many years supplied ballast to the Dublin & Belfast Junction Railway’s lines.

Today the viaduct still carries the Dublin-Belfast railway line.[1] From 1885 to 1948, the Bessbrook and Newry Tramway ran under the viaduct.

Craigmore Viaduct with the Mournes behind
Craigmore Viaduct from Bernish Viewpoint, Newry

The Troubles

On 2 March 1989, a Provisional Irish Republican Army bomb damaged Craigmore Viaduct, it exploding just four minutes before a passenger train from Dublin was due to leave nearby Newry Station. A clearance operation had to be mounted and the railway line was closed and not reopened until 8 March 1989.[2]

Outside links

("Wikimedia Commons" has material
about Craigmore Viaduct)
The Viaduct


  1. Niall V. Torpey. "Irish Railway Bridges-Part 2". Irish Railway Record Society. Retrieved 2007-08-24. 
  2. "Dublin-Belfast Railway Line Bombing". Dáil Éireann Parliamentary Debates. 1989-04-19. Retrieved 2007-08-24.