The Yorkshire viaduct which captures natural beauty and man’s ingenuity

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Natural beauty and man’s ingenuity are captured in harmony in this stunning shot of star trails over the Arthington Viaduct in Wharfedale as a train passes by.

The image, taken by Bruce Rollinson, one of The Yorkshire Post’s award-winning team of photographers, is composed of 172 frames and shows the arches reflected in the River Wharfe in addition to the dramatic scene in the skies above.

PIC: Bruce Rollinson

PIC: Bruce Rollinson

The view from the railway line of the rolling Yorkshire countryside is one that is appreciated by train passengers, but as this image shows, the viaduct is impressive in itself.

The viaduct, which carries the Harrogate line across the Wharfe valley between Arthington in West Yorkshire and Castley in North Yorkshire was built between 1845 and 1849, with construction supervised by Thomas Grainger, who was the chief engineer of the Leeds and Thirsk Railway.

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The structure runs in a curve of 460m in length, with 21 semi-circular arches on high piers and more than 50,000 tons of stone were used in its construction.

It was also introduced into the national consciousness when it featured in Emmerdale’s opening credits between 1998 and 2005, while it was part of the backdrop as cyclists competing in the Tour de France sped through Yorkshire in 2014 at the start of the first stage.

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The viaduct is not just a feat of manmade construction as its location close to the southern edge of the Yorkshire Dales National Park makes it an excellent spot for stargazing. The fourth Dark Skies festival has just started in the area and is running until March 3 this year, designed to celebrate the area’s special stargazing qualities, made possible due to a lack of light pollution that impedes the activity in many other parts of the county.

In some parts of the Yorkshire Dales, on a clear night you can see as many as 2,000 stars and it is possible to see the Milky Way as well as the planets and meteors, while the Northern Lights have also been visible on occasions.

Technical Details: Nikon D4 camera, with 17-35mm Nikkor lens, composite image made up of 172 frames shot at 25secs f4, 1000iso.