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Shankend Viaduct

A grand fifteen-arch viaduct which strides confidently across the Langside Valley in the S of the Scottish Borders, 6 miles (10 km) south of Hawick. Built between 1859 and 1862, this carried the extension to the Waverley Line, known as the Border Union Railway, from Hawick to Carlisle. The line opened in 1862 and operated until 1969, a victim of the Beeching cuts. An accident took place here on the 29th September 1965, when a southbound freight train struck a stationary vehicle and derailed.

The viaduct was designed by Charles Jopp (1820-95), Chief Engineer to the North British Railway Company, and the contractor was Dumfries-based William Ritson. It was constructed from local stone and each semi-circular arch spans 10.7m (35 feet), with a total length of 182m (597 feet). Ownership passed from the British Railways Board to BRB (Residuary) Ltd in 2001, and then to the Highways Agency in 2013. The viaduct is now B-listed owing to its architectural importance. Repairs were carried out in 2000, followed by a larger scale refurbishment in 2007.


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