Camps Viaduct

Location type

Bridge

Names and dates

Camps Viaduct (1869-1885)
Camps Viaduct (1885-1959)

Opened on the Camps Branch (North British Railway).

Description

This is an impressive disused nine arch stone single track viaduct over the gorge of the River Almond dating from 1885. It is 118 yards long overall and 90 ft high. In addition to crossing the river is also passes over a canal feeder for the Union Canal.

The Camps branch Bill was presented in 1865 and 1866. The Act, (^North British Railway (Camps &C)^) passed in 1866, included Railway No 1, a line from Uphall on the former Edinburgh and Bathgate Railway to the existing East Camps Lime Works. The line partially opened, 2 miles, to East Calder Goods on 7 June 1867. The contractor was J&A Grainger. The North British Railway's directors report the branch as completed in an issue of The Railway News for 1868. Completion to Camps was by an order dated 1st November 1868.

There may have been an original timber viaduct. Possibly part of its southern approach may exist at the south end of the present viaduct.

There was an accident here on the 13th of February 1880 which was widely reported - with some variation of the description of which this is an amalgam: ^A distressing accident occurred on the North British Railway system on Friday. While crossing a lofty viaduct which spans the river Almond near East Calder, the axle of the fourth waggon of a goods train broke and the latter portion of the train upon the viaduct over the River Almond. A portion of the train left the rails and the three rear vehicles - the brake-van and two laded waggons - tearing up the rails for 20 - 30 yards, were precipitated ever the left or west side of the viaduct into the river.^ In some versions of the report the viaduct is described as partly collapsing, but it is worth noting Major Marindin focused on the broken axle.

This may have led to the replacement of the viaduct in 1885 - it is unclear if this is the original viaduct but a number of secondary sources give the date 1885 for the bridge. Or it may be related to the Coltness Iron Works company taking over the lime works in the 1880s and a subsequent increase in traffic.

There was a permanent 5mph speed restriction over the viaduct.

To the south of the viaduct was East Calder Goods.

Camps was the site of a Ministry of Supply Depot in the Second World War.

The branch was cut back from Camps to the Pumpherston Oil Works in 1959.

Local

West Lothian Council - Almondell and Calderwood Country Park

Tags

Viaduct River Almond

Aliases

Almondell Viaduct,East Calder Viaduct

Facilities

Listing: B