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Laigh Milton Viaduct

The earliest surviving railway viaduct in the world, built in 1811.

Red Wheel Site:
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Laigh Milton viaduct
West Gatehead

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About Laigh Milton Viaduct

The stone viaduct was part of the Kilmarnock & Troon Railway. It has four arches with sandstone ashlar facings and rounded cutwaters: these were later extended to form semi-circular buttresses. The railway carried steam locomotives nine years before the Stockton & Darlington Railway and is believed to be the first passenger steam railway in the world. The viaduct, built in 1811, is the oldest surviving railway viaduct in Scotland, and one of the oldest in the world. The Causey Arch built on the Tanfield Waggonway in County Durham in 1725 is claimed to be the oldest railway bridge in the World.

The Kilmarnock and Troon Railway was built by William Bentinck, Duke of Portland, to convey coal from pits to the west of Kilmarnock to Troon Harbour. It was the first line in Scotland to be authorised by an Act of Parliament and the first in Scotland on which a locomotive was used. The official opening took place on 6 July 1812. It was built using cast iron plate rails with an inner flange.

The viaduct is 270 ft (82.3 m) long by 19 ft (5.8 m) wide over all, and it carried the railway about 25 ft (7.6 m) above the river on four freestone arches of 40 ft (12.2 m) span with piers 9 ft (2.7 m) wide. Each arch is of segmental elevation with a rise of one third span and arch rings 2 ft (0.61 m) deep.

Photo credits: Photo © wfmillar (cc-by-sa/2.0)wfmillar / Laigh Milton Viaduct

By Road: From the A759 in Gatehead, turn northward at the Cochrane Inn and follow the farm road to Laigh Milton Mill.

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