Author: Anne-Mary Paterson
Format: Paperback, 96 pages
Spanning the Gaps – Highland Railway Bridges and Viaducts by Anne-Mary Paterson. Mention the Highlands and one thinks immediately of lochs and glens. Hilly countryside and sea inlets meant that finding a route for the railways which were built in Victorian days was difficult and inevitably required the construction of many viaducts and bridges. Some were of stone and others of iron and later steel. Size ranged from those crossing minor burns to the magnificent structures such as that at Culloden. Construction cost had to be taken into account as the Highland Railway was never awash with money.
This book tells the story of all the important viaducts and bridges on the Highland Railway. It is copiously illustrated, including sixteen photographs taken in 1864, detailed views from the 1890s and 1900s when photographing state-of-the-art construction was popular and many recent ones showing how well these structures have stood up to Highland conditions. The main lines of the Highland Railway are fortunate in that nearly all are still open today as part of Scot Rail, so the structures are all well-maintained and still there for everyone to enjoy. The author has used her professional knowledge to describe the structures in detail, adding incidental details which show how the railway played its part in local life.