Brickwork in Cuttings

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tony_mac

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I was asked about the seemingly random brickwork (and stonework) in the cuttings approaching Lime St.

I assume that this has been added, as needed, to fill in gaps in the wall, but I don't really know.

Does anyone here know?
 
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Cherry_Picker

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Is it not there as a retaining wall to hold back the rest of the earth which hasnt been cut away? That is what they tend to be for, but as I am unfamiliar with the location I am only guessing.
 

jp4712

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When the approach to Lime Street was made in the 1830s, most of the cutting was solid rock; but in places the rock face was not entirely stable, so in a few places dressed stone was cemented in place.

It wasn't because of 'overexcavation' because the whole lot was done by hand and you most certainly didn't dig any further than you had to. Later techniques, notably the use of explosive, often took out more rock than necessary and when this happened it would be infilled with a brick lining.

This patching process was repeated later in the 19th century when the cutting was widened to four tracks, except that this time engineering brick was used to consolidate weak points.

Over the years since, various patches have been necessary both to those 'patches' and to include new patches where the solid rock has deteriorated. It's quite a fascinating little picture of stonemasons and bricklayers working over not too far off 200 years to keep the cutting safe.

Paul
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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Olive Mount cutting, as described, had no less than 480,000 cubic yards of the 280 million year old Permian "New Red Sandstone" rock excavated and the original two-track cutting was 70 feet in depth and 20 feet in width, which would give a more "deep canyon" visual effect than the current four-track wide cutting.
 

John55

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When the approach to Lime Street was made in the 1830s, most of the cutting was solid rock; but in places the rock face was not entirely stable, so in a few places dressed stone was cemented in place.

It wasn't because of 'overexcavation' because the whole lot was done by hand and you most certainly didn't dig any further than you had to. Later techniques, notably the use of explosive, often took out more rock than necessary and when this happened it would be infilled with a brick lining.

This patching process was repeated later in the 19th century when the cutting was widened to four tracks, except that this time engineering brick was used to consolidate weak points.

Over the years since, various patches have been necessary both to those 'patches' and to include new patches where the solid rock has deteriorated. It's quite a fascinating little picture of stonemasons and bricklayers working over not too far off 200 years to keep the cutting safe.

Paul
Your information is a little misleading. The line from Edge Hill to Lime St was opened in 1836 as a tunnel. When the line was widened to 4 tracks in the 1880s the tunnel was opened out to create the cutting as it now exists.

The sandstone which the cutting is cut through is not homogeneous good quality stone hence the work described above.

The cutting which was widened is that at Olive Mount where the original 2 track cutting has been widened to 4 tracks and at Olive Mount Junction it is wider still.
 

Mutant Lemming

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Across from the Augustus John pub is an ordinary looking wall behind which is a 70 foot drop down to overhead wires and the line in to Lime Strret. I believe it is now much more fenced off but it used to be easy to climb up and peer down at the comings and goings in to Lime Street. Probably urban myth but it was said by some that they fenced it in after someone unwittingly sprang over the wall and dropped to their death. It was more likely to stop the ever increasing amount of debris slung over it.
 

tony_mac

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Thanks everyone!

I am quite (too?) familiar with the outside of the Augustus John, people generally seem surprised when I tell them where the train line is - although it's very visible on Google Earth.

It also looks like the line goes directly underneath the Victoria building (started in 1889), so I wonder if that is the original tunnel, or if it was opened out then covered over?
I read that the rest of that area was only covered over as late as the 1960s.
 

John55

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Thanks everyone!

I am quite (too?) familiar with the outside of the Augustus John, people generally seem surprised when I tell them where the train line is - although it's very visible on Google Earth.

It also looks like the line goes directly underneath the Victoria building (started in 1889), so I wonder if that is the original tunnel, or if it was opened out then covered over?
I read that the rest of that area was only covered over as late as the 1960s.

If you look at the old Student's Union building from Brownlow Hill it is noticable the architects designed it to be viewed with a large brick wall in the way! The bottom story is plain but the first floor is rather more decorated, All due to the walls round the top of the cutting.
 

exile

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This whole thread is a bit spooky considering a body was found on the track between Edge Hill and Lime Street on Tuesday.....
 

Shimbleshanks

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Changing the subject slightly, does anyone know why there are notices at rail level in this cutting with the names of the streets above at each bridge? I've never seen this done anywhere else in the country.

I can't imagine railwaymen needing anything more than the usual mileage and chainage marks.

Is it anything to do with giving the emergency services the location at street level in the event of an incident?
 

Mutant Lemming

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Changing the subject slightly, does anyone know why there are notices at rail level in this cutting with the names of the streets above at each bridge? I've never seen this done anywhere else in the country.

I can't imagine railwaymen needing anything more than the usual mileage and chainage marks.

Is it anything to do with giving the emergency services the location at street level in the event of an incident?
.... or to locate where to send police to stop people dumping rubbish over the walls.
 

John55

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Changing the subject slightly, does anyone know why there are notices at rail level in this cutting with the names of the streets above at each bridge? I've never seen this done anywhere else in the country.

I can't imagine railwaymen needing anything more than the usual mileage and chainage marks.

Is it anything to do with giving the emergency services the location at street level in the event of an incident?
There are a lot of bridges/tunnels between Lime st & Edge Hill some of them very close together (<20m) so it could get difficult to distinguish exact positions by reference to the mileage and chainage. There was a thread on this subject in June 2011 which you could refer to.
 

Poss Planner

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Correct - DCL out of Snow Hill does have bridge & tunnel names identified. In Snow Hill Tunnel the street names above are also indicated within the tunnel
 
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