Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 126,824 pages of information and 199,901 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Borrodale Viaduct

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Borrodale Burn Viaduct

This monument to concrete engineering earned for its contractor Robert McAlpine the nickname "Concrete Bob". The viaduct carries the Fort William - Mallaig West Highland Extension Railway over the Borrodale Burn.

1901 Opened to traffic. A 3-span unreinforced, mass concrete viaduct, with central 127 ft 6 ins (38.8m) span flanked by single 20 ft (6.1m) spans. In its day this was the longest mass-concrete span in the world, twice the span of any existing arch at the time. The design of the bridge was governed by the requirements of the owner of Arisaig House.

In 1897-1901, engineers Simpson and Wilson made pioneering use of mass concrete, producing for the North British Railway's 40 mile West Highland Line extension a series of bridges, culverts, platforms, retaining walls, 11 tunnels and six viaducts, which have defied corrosion.

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Sources of Information

  • Scotlands Places [1]