Heritage Locations

Glenfinnan Viaduct

Best known viaduct on the West Highland line and an early example of the use of concrete.


Period of construction:
1900 - 1949

Transport Trust plaque:

Transport Mode:

Near Glenfinnan, Inverness, PH37 4LT

PH37 4LT

Nearest Town:
Fort William

Heritage Centre:

The West Highland Railway opened in 1901 between Fort William and Mallaig. The contractor was Robert McAlpine & Sons. McAlpine was enthusiastic about the use of concrete and the Mallaig line was accordingly a proving ground for the use of the new material.

Glenfinnan is the most famous of the viaducts on the line, notable for its 21 arches and for being built on a 12 chain radius curve. Another bridge on the line, Borrodale, was for a time the longest single concrete span in the world. Both continue in use.

Located at the top of Loch Shiel in the West Highlands of Scotland, the viaduct overlooks the Glenfinnan Monument and the waters of Loch Shiel.


Biddle, Gordon, Britain's Historic Railway Buildings, Oxford University Press, ISBN-10: 0198662475 (2003)

Biddle, Gordon & Nock, O.S., The Railway Heritage of Britain : 150 years of railway architecture and engineering, Studio Editions, ISBN-10: 1851705953 (1990)

Li, Martin. "Introduction: Scotland on Film", Adventure Guide to Scotland. Hunter Publishing, 52. ISBN 1588434060

Thomas,J. The West Highland Railway (1970)

Smith, M. British Railway Bridges and Viaducts. Ian Allan. ISBN 0 7110 2273 9 (1994)

Wade-Matthews, Max. "Fort William to Mallaig," in "Great Railway Journeys of the World"

Opening Times:
Permanently visible, but see railway timetables for trains passing over it or telephone 0845 600 7245

How To Find:
By road: Close to Glenfinnan Station which has a Railway Museum.


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