Leaderfoot Viaduct

Location type


Name and dates

Leaderfoot Viaduct (1865-1965)


This is a disused nineteen arch single track viaduct crossing the River Tweed, 906 ft long. The height is 130 ft. Also known as Drygrange Viaduct.

Instability during construction delayed the railway's opening from 1863 to 1865. Two piers, north of the road, required buttressing and hoops to be added during construction. In a variation to the viaduct's plans, both the length and height of the viaduct were both increased during its construction.

Passenger trains ceased in 1948 following severe flood damage which closed the line east of Greenlaw as far as Duns.

The viaduct is not far north of Ravenswood Junction where the branch met the Edinburgh and Hawick Railway (North British Railway), later known as the Waverley Route. A long siding built on an embankment existed at the north end, perhaps associated with the construction.

Unfortunately the viaduct has facilitated several suicides. Access to the viaduct is not possible, being fenced at either end, but the viaduct can be admired from all sides.


Nearby the viaduct to the west was the Newstead Roman Fort (Trimontium) and just to its east was the furthest north amphitheatre in Britain, built into the south bank of the river. A viewing platform for the fort exists on the trackbed approaching the south end of the viaduct.

The presence of the Roman fort, and its name, has given rise to the name 'Tripontium' referring to the viaduct and nearby old and new road bridges.


Viaduct River Tweed


Drygrange Viaduct

External links

Canmore site record
NLS Collection OS map of 1892-1914
NLS Collection OS map of 1944-67


Listing: A

Chronology Dates

02/10/1865Berwickshire Railway
Line extended from Earlston over the Leaderfoot Viaduct to St Boswells (Ravenswood Junction).

News items

13/02/2023Is that a train on top of the Leaderfoot Viaduct? [Border Telegraph]
11/06/2021Is the new Indiana Jones being filmed in the Scottish Borders? [ITV News]
05/10/2020Jacobs to manage Highways Englands railway assets - New Civil Engineer [New Civil Engineer]