Plaque unveiled at Newbattle Viaduct

Bronze engraved gilding metal plaque at Newbattle Viaduct.
Bronze engraved gilding metal plaque at Newbattle Viaduct.

A viaduct so well built that it survived 40 years abandoned before returning to use has had a plaque unveiled to mark its engineering excellence.

The unveiling at Newbattle Viaduct yesterday (Thursday) forms part of the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) bicentenary celebrations, in which Borders Railway is named in the top 200 projects which have transformed people’s lives.

Newbattle Viaduct aerial view

Newbattle Viaduct aerial view

Unveiling a plaque at the Sun Inn on Thursday, dedicated to the historic adjacent landmark, ICE past president Professor Gordon Masterton said: “The Borders Railways is one of 11 Scottish locations in the 200 projects being showcased for ICE 200, and the re-use of the Newbattle Viaduct is a testament to the quality of design and construction that symbolises the excellence of the UK’s civil engineering traditions, begun 200 years ago by founding president Thomas Telford.”

The 23-arch Newbattle Viaduct, sometimes also called the Lothianbridge, which stretches across the River Esk opened in 1849 to carry what became the Waverley Line but remained closed after the last freight train in 1972. It was found to be in such good condition that it served as a haul road for lorries removing spoil during construction of the Hardengreen Viaduct across the Dalkeith Western Bypass. Before regaining the rails that now carry ScotRail trains every half hour between Edinburgh and Tweedbank.