North Water Viaduct

(Photo 8 © Robin Barbour Collection/Bruce McCartney)

Running for 12 miles, the single track branch connecting Montrose and Bervie was authorised on 3rd July 1860 with capital of £70,000 in shares and a further £23k in loans. The inaugural passenger train pressed the sleepers on 1st November 1865.

Its major engineering work was a rubble-built viaduct of 12 arches over the North Esk near Kinnaber, taking four years to complete. Five large skewed arches span the river whilst seven others - five at the north side and two to the south - connect with the approach embankments. The structure is a little over 200 yards long with a maximum height of around 75 feet.

The route was absorbed into the North British Railway in 1881, with the last scheduled passenger train travelling the branch on 1st October 1951. The freight service ended in May 1966.

The future of the structure remained in some doubt until repairs were completed in 1992/3, after which it was adopted by the two neighbouring local authorities. The £200k project involved work on the river piers and installation of a handrail, resulting in it reopening as a footpath.

In September 2010, Angus Council agreed to a £230,000 scheme to establish a three-mile link between North Water Viaduct and Montrose. Work is likely to take three months and will open in the summer of 2011.

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Oct 10

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