It’s not often you come across a concrete structure that has both inherent ugliness combined with elegance and grace. While these things are inevitably down to personal taste, for me, the Metrolink flyover at Newton Heath has exactly those qualities.
The surface spine is constructed from thick concrete and looks arguably brutal and certainly over-engineered. Yet the structure as a whole has a curve and gradient change that immediately contrasts it with the ill-advised box-like concrete inner-city structures of the 1960s.
And, adding to the profile of the bridge, is the cable-tensioned steel structure in the background which supports a striking curved copper and glass canopy (the latter sadly out of view) of the Central Park Metrolink tram stop a few hundred yards away. The two elements somehow compliment one another from this angle.
I’d like to say the DB Shed slowly drawing forward to exit the loop brings some elegance of its own, but that would be a hard-pushed argument even for me to make. I pondered at length where to position the train and worked two efforts – the first where the front of the loco was in view just beyond the bridge, and this effort where the front is in the shade beneath the bridge.
Regards it being a train image, this is perhaps the least appealing. But in terms of resonating with the brooding shape and sentiment of the bridge, I think the dark front-end works better. Of course it could all be a load of old wotsits, but that’s how I see things.
For the record, the loco is DB Cargo Shed 66182 working the 10:50am Knowsley Freight Terminal – Wilton EFW Terminal industrial and commercial waste (6E26).
Thorpes Bridge Junction, Newton Heath
21st November 2017