Highland Railway Bridges in photographs

A new exhibition on Capital Collections documents the Victorian engineering feats constructed to realise the aim of opening up Scotland’s Highlands to rail travel. The Inverness and Perth railway was built to provide the quickest means possible of getting between Inverness, Central Scotland and further south into England. However, between Inverness and and the south lay mountain ranges, river valleys and treacherous peatbogs which would have to be traversed.

Joseph Mitchell, a former student of Thomas Telford, and his partner Murdoch Paterson were tasked with the job. They were responsible for engineering the vast majority of the canal, road and railway infrastructure that took place in the Central and Northern Highlands in the 19th Century. They have left a remarkable and enduring legacy.

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Many of their bridges and viaducts are still in regular use by passenger trains today whilst others are still standing but with changed use. One notable exception is the Ness Viaduct at Inverness. It stood for over one hundred years, but was washed away in a heavy downpour and ensuing flood water in 1989.


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