Logierait Bridge

In Victorian Britain rail travel was a hugely popular mode of transport.

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Gloucester Station in the late 19th Century, courtesy of Getty Images.

By the middle of the 20th Century, however, British railways were struggling to survive. Costs had spiralled and the railways were losing millions of pounds every year. The government decided on drastic action. Between 1950 and 1973 more than 2000 railway stations were closed and thousands of miles of railway track taken out of use.

This period in British history is often looked back on with sadness. Many small communities felt cut off when railway lines were closed, thousands of railway workers lost their livelihoods and numerous uniquely scenic journeys were no longer possible. Happily, in recent years a number of old lines and stations have been reopened and there seems to be an appetite for reviving more of them.

One of the casualties of the cuts in the 1960s was a branch line to Aberfeldy in Perthshire, off the main Perth to Inverness line. The route required a number of bridges to cross the River Tay, and one of these was located in the village of Logierait, a few miles east of Aberfeldy.

Logierait bridge
Logierait Bridge, Perthshire.

When the line was closed in 1965, although the bridge had lost its original purpose, it provided a very useful link for local communities. When the rail tracks disappeared it found a new role for itself as a crossing for cars, bicycles and pedestrians.

car on bridge

By the 1990s Logierait bridge was falling into disrepair. In an effort to save it from complete closure, enterprising locals set up The Logierait Bridge Company to raise money for vital repairs. By 2001 they had raised nearly half a million pounds and a full programme of repair work began.

As well as being one of the few remaining bridges in Scotland built to this design, using an open lattice structure of girders along its length, Logierait is the only community-owned bridge in the country.

logierait sign

A sign above the bridge states that any vehicles crossing it do so at their own risk, which adds an extra frisson of excitement for those brave enough to take on the challenge. I expect it is, in fact, in better repair than many publicly funded bridges, given the amount of care and attention it’s received in recent years.

Logierait bridge 2

Well done, citizens of Logierait, for saving this fine bridge for the present and the future. I always enjoy driving across it, and perhaps one day if the Aberfeldy branch line is revived, I might even cross it in a train.

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6 Comments

  1. How wonderful that the lovely bridge has been restored. I see that many of the old canals have also been reopened due to the fundraising and efforts of local citizens. It is so nice that the British communities see the value in these former methods of transportation.

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  2. Half a million pounds is a very impressive effort! Well done Logierait. There is a bridge quite close to where I live that is not faring nearly so well. I think part of the reason is that it is an old bridge that has actually been replaced by a spiffy new one, and most people had gotten heartily sick of the old one. I’m not attached either, but it could maybe be useful for cyclists. So we shall have to wait and see. I’m sure they wish they had half a mill 🙂 However, in better news, some people here just clubbed together to buy one of our beaches to keep it out of foreign ownership. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/travel/themes/beaches/76896297/a-short-history-of-new-zealands-mission-to-buy-a-beach.html). So that’s quite nice.

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