Neidpath Viaduct

Neidpath Viaduct

Often known locally as Queen’s Bridge, this structure became part of the railway network on 1st February 1864 as part of the Caledonian Railway’s extension into Peebles of the Symington, Biggar & Broughton line. The work was authorised in July 1860.

The track crossed the River Tweed at a height of 32 feet on a masonry viaduct comprising eight ashlar skew arches, each with a span of 32ft 6in. The structure curves to the south on a radius of 440 yards and boasts low stone parapets with intermediate cast iron handrails. Four piers stand obliquely in the water. The rusticated buttress pilasters are decorated with cruciform arrow slits and smooth angle margins extending from rounded cutwaters.

Responsible for its design were Robert Murray, an architect from Peebles, and George Cunningham who was the Caldedonian’s Consultant Engineer. It is reputed that Murray carved a rough builder’s model of the viaduct from a turnip!

Regular passenger traffic ceased on 5th June 1950 and the line lost its operational status completely on 7th June 1954. Now Grade A listed due to its fine skew, the viaduct still serves the public as a footpath. Temporary wooden fencing was installed on the deck in 2009 whilst repairs take place to the parapets.

(Jim Barton’s photo is used under this Creative Commons licence.)

August 2010