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Tomatin, Railway Viaduct

Railway Viaduct (19-20th Century)

Site Name Tomatin, Railway Viaduct

Classification Railway Viaduct (19-20th Century)

Alternative Name(s) River Findhorn; Findhorn Viaduct; Strathdearn

Canmore ID 14953

Site Number NH82NW 28

NGR NH 80720 28819

Datum OSGB36 - NGR


Ordnance Survey licence number 100057073. All rights reserved.
Canmore Disclaimer. © Copyright and database right 2019.

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Administrative Areas

  • Council Highland
  • Parish Moy And Dalarossie
  • Former Region Highland
  • Former District Inverness
  • Former County Inverness-shire

Archaeology Notes

NH82NW 28 80720 28819

Findhorn Viaduct [NAT]

OS 1:10,000 map, 1982.

Not to be confused with Tomatin Viaduct (NH 802 290) or Forres, Findhorn Viaduct (NJ 0207 5868), for which see NH82NW 30 and NJ05NW 102 respectively.

For corresponding road bridge (downstream, to NE), see NH82NW 33.

Location formerly entered as NH 80547 28943 to NH 80836 28683.

Opened to traffic 19.7.1897.

(Undated) information in NMRS.

(Location cited as NH 806 288). Findhorn Viaduct, Tomatin: opened in 1897 by the Highland Rly. A 9-span structure with steel trusses supported on slender masonry piers, 1335 ft (407m) long.

J R Hume 1977.

Findhorn viaduct, by John Fowler and Murdoch Paterson, 1894-7. The curved railway viaduct is over 400m long, and stands 43m above the river. Nine spans of steel lattice girders on tapering stone piers.

J Gifford 1992.

This viaduct was designed by Murdoch Paterson to carry the (Aviemore-Carr Bridge-Inverness) Direct Line of the Highland Rly across the River Findhorn. It opened on 19 July 1897, and remains in use.

M Smith 1994.

This viaduct carries the Aviemore-Inverness 'direct' main line of the former Highland Rly over Strathdearn and the River Findhorn to the SE of Tomatin. It remains in regular use by passenger traffic.

The location assigned to this record defines the midpoint of the structure; the river crosses under the viaduct some distance to the NW of this. The available map evidence suggests that it extends from NH c. 80546 28945 to NH c. 80838 28682.

Information from RCAHMS (RJCM), 23 March 2006.


Construction (1897)

Viaduct completed.

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Publication Account (2007)

Findhorn Viaduct (Railway), Tomatin

(Institute Civil Engineers Historic Engineering Works no. HEW 0601/01)

This viaduct was built to carry the former Highland Railway across the valley of the Findhorn south of Tomatin. It is a striking and well-proportioned example of Victorian railway engineering. Its construction is unusual for the Highlands as it has slender masonry piers of wellcut

stone that carry double-triangulated steel trusses.

The viaduct, built on a curve of about 35 chains, has nine truss spans of 132 ft flanked at either end with abutments pierced by small masonry arches. It reaches a maximum height of 144 ft. The engineer was Murdoch Paterson, and Butterley Iron Company was the contractor for the girders.

Construction was completed in 1897.

It is said that Sir John Fowler, as consulting engineer, persuaded the directors to adopt a more direct line for the railway over this viaduct saving over a mile in length. The stone used for the viaduct was from the quarries which had supplied granite for the Forth Bridge (Kemnay, Aberdeenshire).

R Paxton and J Shipway, 2007.

Reproduced from 'Civil Engineering heritage: Scotland - Highlands and Islands' with kind permission from Thomas Telford Publishers.


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