Westfield Viaduct

(Avon Viaduct)

A disused stone-built railway crossing of the River Avon between Falkirk and West Lothian, usually known as the Westfield Viaduct to distinguish it from another grander Avon Viaduct located 4 miles (6.5 km) to the northeast. Westfield Viaduct was built in 1854-55 for the Bathgate and Armadale branch of the Monkland Railways, which were principally mineral lines, carrying coal to market. Passenger services came later. Extending to 201m (220 yards) long and 18.3 m (60 feet) in height, it comprises twelve wide segmental arches (each 14.3 m / 47 feet), separated by slender piers, with pairs of narrow arches at each end. The river passes under the second of the wide arches, counted from the northern end, while there is a long (119m / 390 feet) approach embankment at the southeastern end of the viaduct.

The line closed on 28th December 1964 and the viaduct was B-listed in 1974. Parts of the structure are in poor condition and most of the arches have had to be strengthened with enormous tie-bars. The viaduct is dangerous to cross, with considerable lengths of the iron parapet railings having been lost. British Railways Board (Residuary) Ltd. was responsible for the maintenance until 2013, when the task passed to the English Highways Agency, based in York.

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