K-Burn

K-Burn

Posted on 06/09/2013


Photo taken on May 30, 2013



See also...

Railway Viaducts Railway Viaducts


Bridges Bridges



Keywords

bridge
Bilston
Bilston Glen Viaduct
Glencorse Branch Railway
Edinburgh Loanhead & Roslin Railway
dismantled railway
Midlothian
metal
viaduct
woodland
gorge
abandoned
Loanhead


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Bilston Glen Viaduct

Bilston Glen Viaduct
The Bilston Glen Viaduct opened in 1892, replacing a wooden viaduct which used to cross the glen at this point. The earlier viaduct was opened in 1874 and succumbed to ground movements due to the mining of the area. Said viaduct was built by the infamous Thomas Bouch and we all know what he's responsible for.

The current metal beast is the longest box lattice girder viaduct in Scotland, although you could argue that it's a bridge as a viaduct is defined as having two more more small spans that are normally, but not always identical. The Bilston Glen Viaduct only has one span.

During the heat of Summer, the viaduct can expand by up to 60mm when compared with it's length in the Winter so the structure is secured into it's sandstone bull-faced abutments via a large iron bearing which is housed in a small space that allows the viaduct to roll back and forth. Without such measures in place, the structure could crack, causing it's eventual collapse. It's still strange to think of a viaduct like this moving around, though.

This area is littered with various lines that not only served all of the small towns in Edinburgh's greenbelt but they also served the large number of mine workings in the area. It's believed that the mine workings caused the initial ground movements that caused the original viaduct to fail.

Today, the viaduct is an integral part of a network of footpaths in the area, although those walking over the viaduct probably have no idea what's under their feet. There's a certain grace to the structure as it only makes a connection with land at either end, there are no additional supports and from above, it almost looks as if the viaduct is just floating across the gorge.

I wouldn't recommend climbing around on here really (I was only just off the ground) as the land falls away very quickly. If you want to read the information plaque for the viaduct, then feel free.

Berny, Bruce Oakley, milvavr have particularly liked this photo


9 comments - The latest ones
milvavr
milvavr
very interesting, thank you for your explanation! great shot!!!
4 years ago.
K-Burn
K-Burn
Cheers. I find it far too easy to talk about bridges like this so well done for getting to the end of that long description without getting bored.
4 years ago.
Bruce Oakley
Bruce Oakley
Very interesting shot and background information.
4 years ago.
Cuban B.
Cuban B.
Looks good, this is asking to be walked on.
4 years ago.
Mike Davenport
Mike Davenport
Great lines and shot. It's in good shape to be only a foot bridge now. Sad to see so many lines now abandoned or even though cool now hiking trails.
If your ever around one of these when things start to cool off they do make some noise. lol
I once tried to climb across the lower section of one back when I was a teen to get to the first abutment in the river.
4 years ago.
Berny
Berny
fantastic view - great construction!
4 years ago.
OCS
OCS
Beautiful capture!
4 years ago.
Rabbitroundtheworld
Rabbitroundtheworld
Interesting! Looks very inviting for climbing on.....
4 years ago.
K-Burn
K-Burn
Thanks all. I haven't properly checked in here for a while so apologies for taking ages to reply. As far as walking it goes, my friend did walk across a wee bit of the structure and you could probably get across to the other side should you feel inclined.
4 years ago.