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Findhorn Railway Viaduct at Tomatin near Inverness Scotland

Strathdearn (wide valley of the river erne or dearn) lies some 14 miles south of Inverness, through which runs the headwaters of the River Findhorn (or Dearn), which eventually reaches the sea near Forres in Morayshire.


Although Strathdearn (and its main village, Tomatin) has always been on the "main" road - such as it was - to the south from Inverness, the railway only arrived to open up the area in 1898. The direct line from Aviemore to Inverness over Slochd summit considerably shortened the distance from Inverness to the south, cutting off the long rail detour up Strathspey to Forres and then along the Moray Firth coast the 30-odd miles to Inverness.


The "Direct Route" was formidable example of engineering, which remarkably involved absolutely NO tunnels, but a lot of cutting and many bridges and viaducts. Other than the magnificent Culloden Viaduct, the viaduct over the River Findhorn is probably the most impressive feature. Carrying the line on a curve (and decline), it continues in use.


Built between 1894 and 1897, this impressive curved viaduct is some 400m (438 yards) in length and consists of nine spans of lattice-steel structure supported on stone-work piers 43 metres high.

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Taken on April 29, 2012