Lairg - Invershin Viaduct Footbridge

For a bit of a change, here is a bridge which really was opened in the Millennium year.

The viaduct which spans the River Shin between Lairg and Bonar Bridge was built in 1867 for the Sutherland Railway Company and carries the line northwards from Inverness and Dingwall towards Wick and Thurso. The structure is a ten section cast iron lattice bridge with semi-circular stone approach arches.

Invershin and Culrain stations at either end of the viaduct, at only some 700m apart are probably the closest railway stations on the same line anywhere on the British rail network. There was a good reason for this - the two stations lie on opposite banks of the Kyle of Sutherland, with an 11 Km detour via Bonar Bridge to get from one side to the other. At least, that was the case until the year 2000, when this footbridge was attached to the piers of the viaduct. The footbridge forms a valuable link on National Cycle Network route 1, although it does present a substantial obstacle to tour-laden cyclists with 15 steps up at the eastern end, and 30 steps up at the western end. The bridge was opened by Alisdair Morrison MSP on 9 May 2000.

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