Horsburgh Viaduct

(Photo 7 © K-Burn)

The Peebles Railway came to the town on 4th July 1855, forming a link northwards to Edinburgh. Nine years later, railways arrived from the east and west, the former establishing a connection with Galashiels where passengers could change for the Waverley route. The line was progressed in two stages, terminating at Innerleithen until the North British opened the eastern section on 18th June 1866, allowing through journeys.

On the western approach to Cardrona Station, the single track crossed the River Tweed on a riveted plate-girder bridge comprising five wrought iron spans. Each of these extends for 60 feet, giving a total length of about 120 yards, with a width of 12 feet and providing a clearance of 15 feet above the water. Beneath the spans is brick infill whilst the rusticated sandstone piers feature cutwaters and are skewed to align with the river's flow.

Responsible for the viaduct's engineering was Charles Jopp whilst Trowsdale & Sons acted as the contractor. It first carried trains on 10th October 1864 and saw its last on 5th February 1962.

The structure is effectively one of a pair with Haughhead Viaduct, just east of Innerleithen. Both are now Grade II listed and still play a transport role as part of local footpaths.

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Feb 14

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