Craighead Viaduct 1904

These beautiful photos feature Blantyre fields at the Clyde, near Craighead, overlooking Bothwell. Taken from Gilmour’s Directory in 1904, they offer in some fine detail what the riverside looked like well over a hundred years ago.

In those earlier years, the viaduct was a busy thoroughfare, allowing not only rail, but pedestrian crossings too, on an iron “catwalk” situated directly below the railway line, but still within the viaduct itself. It must have made a thunderous noise as trains passed by overhead if you were crossing at that time. Located behind the current Whistleberry Estate, in an north-south direction, the pillars connected elevated railway tracks at Blantyre to Bothwell over the River Clyde.

In 1952 the Railway created a terminus at Bothwell, due to the deteriorating condition of the Viaduct. For safety reasons trains were not permitted on the structure from that time with British Railways making that decision rather than spend considerable money in repairing the viaduct. Trains did run, but only freight for a couple more years with the regular passenger service terminated.

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Alistair Morrow The viaduct opened to traffic in 1878 and was constructed by William Arrol of Dalmarnock (who also built the Forth Bridge). The last trains to cross the viaduct carried infill for the tunnel under the LMS line between Blantyre and Hamilton West and was located behind the Robertson’s factory at Springwells. The line from Bothwell to Shettleston was closed in 1955

Russell Boyd It must have been terrifying walking under there when a train was passing.

Joy McLennan Thank you…

Andy Callaghan As a wee, wee boy I would often walk across this bridge with my dad and my older brother. It was really exciting and v noisy when trains passed over. After the bridge and walkway were closed then as 13 year olds we would still climb inside n cross the walkway despite the fact that many of the walkway planks were missing or rotten and there was a drop of over 100ft into the Clyde. Young n daft.

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  1. There really nice pictures, especially that last one, of good quality to. It looks lovely, a nice place for a walk. It’s certainly not as pleasant today.

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