(Photo 9 © Simon Ledingham, photos 10 & 11 © Bruce McCartney)
Built by the North British Railway, Riddings Viaduct was built close to the southern end of a 7-mile branch to the town of Langholm, linking it with the Waverley route. It opened in May 1862 when the first section of the line reached Canonbie.
The curved structure, around 500 feet in length, comprises nine sharply-skewed depressed arches which carried the single track over Liddel Water. All the piers are built parallel to the river’s flow and those in it have narrow cutwaters. The quality of work produced by the masons is hugely impressive given the engineering challenges that had to be overcome.
Passengers were served by the branch until 1964; the last freight train crossed the viaduct on 18th September 1967, marking the end of its service.
Grade A listed in Scotland but only II* south of the border, the viaduct recently underwent a major refurbishment programme by its owners, British Railways Board (Residuary), which included repairs to the masonry and waterproofing of the deck.