Ness Viaduct

Location type


Names and dates

Ness Viaduct (1862-1989)
Ness Viaduct (1990-)


This is a modern single track girder viaduct dating from 1990, which replaced the original stone single track viaduct which collapsed in 1989.

The original viaduct, by engineer Joseph Mitchell, had five arches over the River Ness, four smaller arches on the eastern approach and a girder bridge over Harbour Road, continuing towards the station on a dressed stone embankment, and to the west was single girder bridge over Anderson Street.

The keystone of the Ness Viaduct inserted by Miss Mitchell, the engineer's daughter.

When the original bridge collapsed a freight train for Invergordon and Lairg had not long before passed over.

The new viaduct replaces the central five arches over the river with three long girders. It is elegant, simple and unremarkable.

There was a cantilever signal box which overhung the Inverness Harbour branch. It opened in 1898, during the major resignalling of Inverness which followed the opening of the Direct Line via Slochd Summit. The line approaching the viaduct from Welsh's Bridge Junction was doubled as far as the east end of the viaduct.

The box closed in 1934 when the points became motor operated from Rose Street Junction.


Viaduct;River Ness

External links

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

Chronology Dates

  /12/1861Inverness and Ross-shire Railway
Keystone of the Ness Viaduct inserted by Miss Mitchell, the engineer Joseph Mitchell's daughter.
07/02/1989Inverness and Ross-shire Railway
Ness Viaduct, Inverness, collapses, separating the Thurso, Wick and Kyle of Lochalsh lines from the rest of the network. Dingwall becomes the southern terminus, Muir of Ord closes (although served by a minibus) and becomes a train maintenance depot. Buses operate between Inverness and Dingwall while a new bridge is built. Oil traffic to Lairg is suspended (it does not restart until 2001).
11/02/1990Inverness and Ross-shire Railway
Girders of the new Ness Viaduct installed from the 11th to the 14.

News items

14/04/2022Part of Anderson Street in Inverness to be temporarily closed for essential railway work [Inverness Courier]